Why is the sky blue?
Why is the grass green?
Why can't I drive the car?
Why do we need to go on vacation?
Why can't we stop for ice cream?
The questions seem unending to a young parent. This line of questioning would put a CIA operative to shame who must resort to water-boarding to inflict higher levels of pain and mental distress.
Some questions of "why" we can answer, but the child is too young to even understand our answer if we gave it to them. We know that such answers would only be open to 10 more "why" questions that we don't have the time or energy to answer. To this, we often resort to our simple answer: "Because it just IS!", This answer will hold a 5 year old for about 10 seconds before they bellow out a loud "WHY?" from the back seat of the car.
On Good Friday, while Jesus is hanging on the cross he screams out a question for God the Father to answer:
"My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?"Christ, suspended on a cross between two worlds: earth and heaven. Rejected by the earth and forsaken by the Father.
Why is often the hardest question to answer in stories like this. Journalists can give you the Who, What, Where and How, but often they struggle to come up with the WHY. When a crazed husband shoots his wife at her school and 2 other children we are left empty when we search for the reason of WHY. Or when a soldier sees his friend take on heavy fire from the enemy and dies so he can crawl to safety we are left empty as we search for the answer to WHY.
The answer to Jesus' question comes to us earlier in the book of John
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life"The answer is because he loves us.
All to often we get too caught up in answering the other questions that we overlook (or maybe we just don't want to face it) the most important of questions. Knowing HOW Jesus died, WHERE Jesus died, WHEN Jesus died won't bring you any closer to God. Today we are blessed with great cinematography and actors who can portray Christ's suffering in great detail and almost make you feel like you are standing right there under the cross. But that won't save anyone. Only when they come to face the question of WHY... are lives changed. When we see that it was for US that Christ died. He acted as the mother stepping in front of her child to shield them from the oncoming bullet to protect them.
I have often found it amazing that the one thing you can say to a child that you will never get a WHY question for is this: I LOVE YOU!
Children just get it. They accept it. They know they are not perfect, but they accept the love of their parent as irrefutable and will often immediately respond with "I LOVE YOU DADDY!"
God loves you too and all he asks us to do is to accept it and not ask WHY.