It is always a little humbling to stand in front of a room full of children and teach the word of God. Just knowing whatever I say will become the “gospel” to them is more than humbling and daunting. So, when I looked around and saw the eleven pairs of eyes all glued to me with confusion and almost shock, it was a moment, you know what I mean, one that is almost frozen in time. I had asked a simple question that silenced the usually chatty room full of preteen/teen girls. We were leading into studying John 15, but to understand that context, so we had reached back into John 13 to discuss the circumstances of the situation through John chapter 14. In those “pre-chapters” where Jesus prepares His apostles for His leaving and His death I mentioned that He knew He would die before He came to this earth. They looked up at me with confusion in their eyes. Then I asked the question: “Why would Jesus, knowing He was going to die, come anyway?” You could have heard a pin drop…on the carpet. Their sweet little eyes looked to me with confusion. One said, “What? He knew? BEFORE?” We continued our discussion and I asked the question again: “Why would Jesus, knowing He was going to die, come here anyway?” One young girl said, “I don’t know. Why?” They looked around at each other and then after a moment started to, hesitantly, offer answers: “Well, ‘cause God said?” and “Maybe He had to?” But, it was obvious they really didn’t know. Finally, after a few answers, one girl quietly answered, “Because He loves us?” She wasn’t sure. It was a question. They all quietly looked around at each other as if to say…really? One said: “that’s a lot of love.” We continued to discuss the soul stirring concept that He didn’t have to; the fact that He could have said no; the awesomeness that He said yes, knowing that people would hate Him, would humiliate Him, would reject Him; and knowing it would hurt…a lot. We continued with the lesson, but the mood was somber and the girls seemed to. No joking was heard, just a sad look into the lives of a man who loved them and His best friends who were sad to lose Him. It was a moment that later passed as the bell rang to signal the end of class, but it was a moment of concern for our Savior, of sadness for what He had done, for the realization of what love is. As I stood there looking into those precious eyes, I thought about how the magnitude of knowing that He gave because He loved; He did it because He loved; He didn’t have to, but He loved.