I was leaning down to pick up the shattered pieces of the window to our storage room. A big, jagged hole was in the glass pane, and a long crack ran along the entire window face. Small pieces of glass were everywhere. I was a little numb. My three year old son had tried to pelt his older sister with a rock. When she took shelter in the storage room, he decided to break the window to get to her.
Before anyone panics, both children are safe and no injuries were sustained. Thank the Lord.
As I was cleaning up the sharp pieces of glass, I was uncertain how to respond to my son. He had already been corrected. He had even admitted to doing it on purpose, and he truly was showing remorse. There was a clear sound of sadness and regret in his voice. However, that did not fix the window.
I took a picture to send to my landlord, and I told him we were more than willing to pay for the window. We knew this was our obligation, and we were willing to do it. After working out the details with the landlord, who was incredibly gracious about the whole thing, I continued to clean up the mess. As I picked up the pieces, God in His grace opened my eyes to the excellent illustration of the Gospel that was right here in front of me. I meditated on the Gospel, prayed for God to help me explain it well, then went in to have dinner with the family.
I asked my whole family to listen carefully and quietly as I explained to my son how the broken window could show us the Good News.
For the sake of space and flow I will simply tell you the illustration. My son and I had interaction through questions and answers along the way. This transcript is also a little more grown up than the way I explained some things.
The window was like the world. At the beginning of the day, the window was in one piece. It was whole and good. God created the world, and in the beginning it was very good. The world was whole, and there were no cracks or holes in this perfect world as God made it. God made two people to keep and populate this world, and they were named Adam and Eve. They were meant to live with God in this perfect world, enjoying His presence and having perfect fellowship with Him.
However, the people God created to enjoy Him, decided they would rather take their own place as gods, and they rebelled against God. This is just like my son’s trespass. I had told him many times that we should never throw rocks or balls at buildings and windows. He rebelled. He determined to have his own way, even deciding he would harm his sister to have his way. Just like his rebellion broke the window, Adam and Eve’s rebellion broke the world. Thankfully, my son’s rebellion did not break him or his sister, but Adam and Eve’s rebellion broke everything, including them. They had broken God’s good world. This meant that their children would have to live in this broken world and be broken themselves. This includes us. We can’t just choose to blame Adam and Eve, because we all choose to rebel against God. We all are responsible for the brokenness of our world, and the lost relationship with God.
Just like my son could not fix the window, Adam and Eve could not fix themselves or the world. There was no way for them to fix what they had broken. We are also unable to fix ourselves and this broken world. We are unable to restore a relationship with God on our own, and separation from God is death. When I asked my son if he had enough money to fix the window, he lowered his eyes and shook his head. I already knew that answer, but I wanted to drive home the point. He had absolutely no way to fix what he had broken. If he had tried to fix the window, he would have caused greater damage to it and himself.
Then I explained that Daddy and Mommy were going to pay to have the window fixed. We did not expect him to pay for the window at all. We were going to fix the window at no charge to him. We were going to do this because we loved him. We did not come to judge him, but to restore what he had broken. In the same way, God took the initiative in our rescue from sin and in restoring the world. He promised that Jesus would come to destroy evil. Throughout the Bible He promises that someday there will be a new heavens and new earth. God is going to fix this broken world forever, and He will do it Himself.
When Jesus came into the world He died to defeat evil and to pay the penalty for our sin. Sin has been dealt with at the cross. Jesus also came back to life again, defeating death. Jesus gives eternal life to all who trust in Him, so that God begins to fix what is broken in us. Eternal life is to know God through Jesus Christ. A relationship with God, which was broken by rebellion, is restored through trusting in Jesus Christ, because He has paid to restore it in His death. When our relationship with God is restored, then we can have fellowship with Him. We can know Him, and He will work through us.
All of this is given to us as a gift, because Jesus paid for it all. All we have to do is trust in Him to give it to us. Really, we must simply trust in Jesus, and Jesus will give us Himself.
Just like my wife and I forgave our son and paid to fix his rebellion, God has done the same for us.
Then, to make the point of God’s outrageously generous love, I took my son out for ice cream. I explained that God not only let’s us come to Him, but He gives us all the blessings of heaven for us to enjoy.
That is Good News!