Tuesday, April 14, 2009
A few months ago we took the kids to Orlando. It was the second time we'd been in 2 years, and we were not really planning on another trip there so soon...but we had the privilege of being there with our great friends Jason and Deanna, who were bringing their oldest daughter to O-town through the Make-a-Wish foundation. Sweet little Cassidy, who has just this week celebrated her last "dex" treatment (!) wanted to go to Disney World. She had asked if we could come to Orlando the same time. It was an unforgettable week. I spent many years living in Orlando. It is the place of my mother's birth-the heritage of her family. Calvary Assembly in Winter Park is the place where my family's faith began...the place where my father received his salvation and for many years, my "home" church. But when you live there...you kindof do it all...see it all....and live the thrill of vacation-land every day. But there is one place that we visited for the first time that touched me so profoundly that I will never forget it....and that is the Holy Land. It seemed kind of....well...corny really, and when you consider anything NOT done by Disney, you must consider the fact that no matter how great, it will never measure up. I mean, you really can't out-do Disney. But the moment I walked into the "park" (if you will) I was transported back in time to a place I couldn't have even imagined. The sounds, smells...dusty village streets, the sheer authenticity of every inch made me feel like I had time-traveled and was just then seeing the Bible come to life. And then, out from behind one of the village huts came the voice of Jesus. I turned and looked, and there He was, just as I had imagined He would look. He was teaching and people began to gather, and He beckoned the children to come, and they came...and mine came to Him, and there we all stood, hundreds of us mesmerized by the words we all knew by heart, and yet felt as though we were hearing for the first time. It wasn't long after that He was dragged through the same streets, brutally beaten by enormous guards who were shouting and spitting and the noise of the crowd grew and we heard the resounding death sentence of Pilot. I felt like running away, but knew I could never tear my eyes from what I was seeing. I wondered in horror if the people who witnessed Jesus' crucifixion felt the same way. Frozen where they stood...wanting desperately to flee and yet transfixed on the One who called himself God's Son. We all wept as Jesus was nailed to the cross. I stood behind my children and watched their faces as they saw what we all were witnessing...the Lamb. And yet....as the play continued to unfold, I could feel the excitement mounting because we all knew what was to come! Through tears and shouts of praise and cheering Jesus appeared in a cloud...resurrected! For me, Easter morning has forever been changed! I can't help but think of this season as if I had witnessed it for myself first-hand. I will never be the same. He is risen!
Posted by Jill Kocian