Each Easter season I’m fascinated to watch our daughter process Christ’s love for us as she watches it through our church’s Passion Play. She has mild special needs that include comprehension issues, so often things her peers can figure out without a lot of cues, she needs some explanation. This year she wasn’t just the townsgirl/robe carrier, she made her way to the crucifixion scene. (I’m not certain she was allowed, but that’s another post for another day.)
Once the play ended, she asked if she could watch the Bible series on the History Channel. She compared the two performances and tried in her ten year old way to compare it to what she knew of the Bible. Of course, she had questions.
- Why is Jesus looking at Peter funny when he’s talking?
(Because Jesus knows in a matter of hours Peter will deny Him three times.)
- Where do you think Satan was when Jesus was on the cross?
(I’m guessing close by, enjoying every second, thinking he had won.)
- Why did you say I’m more blessed than Thomas?
(Because she believes without needing to see.)
- I don’t understand how Saul and Paul are the same person.
(That’s a tough one to explain. But in the end, she grasped that Saul was someone who lived to see Christians die. He was on his way to catch Christians when Jesus blinded him. Saul’s life changed so much he became Paul, one of the greatest evangelists the world could ever know. And what faith on the Christians part, because they allowed Paul in, not sure if his transformation was true.)
- Why is it such a big deal John is listed last and it says he died of old age?
(At the end of our Passion Play it lists each disciple and how they died. John the Revelator is the protagonist and he jokes how they’ve tried to burn him, poison him, beat him…and nothing worked, so they exiled him. For him to die of old age gives me the goose bumps. He took care of Mary. He was a true friend. And how he loved the Lord.)
She had a lot of questions but I loved her understanding, the best we can, the depth of Christ’s love to sacrifice as He did. That she saw flawed men who goofed up and goofed up bad turn things around so much they were among the first to take the gospel and run with it. She understood when evil is the core of intentions, it will not end well.
Her excitement fanned my flames of adoration.
I kept thinking back to Peter. So confident and sure to full of shame. And because of Christ, stronger than ever and remembered through the ages because we can relate. Paul. He thought he was right, and to know he had a hand in so many murders, how could he go on? But go on Paul did. I’ve always been inspired by Him.
And of course, John. Talk about passionate for Christ. The attempts to kill him were such failures they sent him away to exile. I’m sure no one wanted to see his anointed face as a reminder he couldn’t be silenced, not by their hand. That gives me courage to be bolder.
But none of these questions exist, there’s no reason to explore the personal histories without Jesus.
And I praise God our kids know Him. They treat participating in the Passion Play as a small gift to Him, their way of saying thank you for eternal life. For our daughter, thanks we don’t have to kill animals and use their blood to get forgiveness. She gets that Jesus did that for us.
If you weren’t able to take opportunity to watch the life, death and resurrection of Jesus played out, it’s not too late. Find a copy of Passion of the Christ. Check out the History Channel.
Or, best of all, take time apart and spend some quiet time in prayer.
You’re welcome to ask questions.
Photo by Julie Arduini/dream special effect used