AND JESUS SAID:
"I TELL YOU THE TRUTH, UNLESS YOU
CHANGE AND BECOME LIKE LITTLE CHILDREN, YOU WILL
NEVER ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
( MATTHEW 18:3 *NIV )
God recently allowed me to see Jesus through the
someone seeing Him for the first time. Having
the advantage of
knowing how the story ends, we can easily forget
the cost of our
redemption and the love of our Savior.
Every year we attend a local church pageant
which tells the
story of Jesus from His birth through His
resurrection. It is
a spectacular event, with live animals and
hundreds of cast
members in realistic costumes. The magi enter
auditorium on llamas from the rear, descending
the steps in
pomp and majesty. Roman soldiers look huge and
in their costumes and makeup.
Of all the years we have attended, one stands
out indelibly in
my heart. It was the year we took our then
granddaughter, Bailey, who loves Jesus. She was
throughout the entire play, not just watching,
but involved as if
she were a player. She watches as Joseph and
Mary travel to
the Inn and is thrilled when she sees the baby
Jesus in His
Later when Jesus, on a young donkey, descends
from the back of the auditorium, depicting His
triumphal entry into
Jerusalem, Bailey was ecstatic. As he neared our
began jumping up and down, screaming, "Jesus,
Jesus!" Not just saying the words but exclaiming
them with every
fiber of her being. She alternated between
screaming his name
and hugging us. "It's Jesus. Look!" I thought
she might actually
Tears filled my eyes as I looked at Jesus
through the eyes of a
child in love with Him, seeing Him for the first
time. How like the
blind beggar screaming out in reckless abandon,
afraid he might miss Him, not caring what others
was so much fun.
Then came the arrest scene. On stage, the
and slapped Jesus as they moved Him from the
Gethsemane to Pilate. Bailey responded as if she
were in the
crowd of women, with terror and anger. "Stop
it!" she screamed.
"Bad soldiers, stop it!" As I watched her
reaction, I wished we
had talked to her before the play. "Bailey it's
OK. They are just
pretending," but she shouted "They are hurting
Jesus! Stop it!"
She stood in her seat reacting to each and every
around us at first smiled at her reaction,
thinking "How cute!".
Then they quit smiling and began watching her
watch Him. In a
most powerful scene, the soldiers lead Jesus
carrying the cross
down the steps of the auditorium from the back.
yelling, whipping, and cursing at Jesus, who was
beaten. Bailey was now hysterical. "Stop it!
Soldiers! Stop it,"
she screamed. She must have been wondering why
people did nothing. She then began to cry
instead of scream.
"Jesus, Oh, Jesus!" People all around us began
to weep as we
all watch this devoted little disciple see her
Jesus beaten and
killed as those first century disciples had.
Now going back and forth between her mother's
lap and mine
for comfort, she was distraught. I kept saying,
"Bailey, it's OK.
Jesus is going to be OK.
These are just people pretending to be soldiers.
She looked at
me like I was crazy. In my lap, we talked
through the cross and
burial. "Watch, Bailey, watch for Jesus!"
The tomb began to tremble and lightening flashed
as the stone
rolled away. A super bowl touchdown cheer
couldn't come close
to matching this little one's reaction to the
He's OK. Mommy, it's Jesus!" " It's Jesus!"
I prayed that she wasn't going to be traumatized
by this event,
but that she would remember it. I shall never
forget it. I shall
never forget seeing Jesus' suffering,
crucifixion, and resurrection
through the eyes of an innocent child.
Following the pageant the actors all assembled
in the foyer to
be greeted by the audience. As we passed by some
soldiers Bailey screamed out, "Bad soldier,
don't you hurt
Jesus." The actor who portrayed Jesus was some
surrounded by well-wishers and friends. Bailey
broke away from
us and ran toward Him, wrapping herself around
His legs, holding
on for dear life. He hugged her and said, "Jesus
loves you." He
patted her to go away. She wouldn't let go. She
kept clinging to
Him, laughing and calling His name. She wasn't
about to let go
of her Jesus.
I think God in heaven stopped what ever was
going on that day
and made all the angels watch Bailey. "Now, look
see what I meant when I said; "LET THE LITTLE
COME TO ME, AND DO NOT HINDER THEM, FOR THE
KINGDOM OF HEAVEN BELONGS TO SUCH AS THESE."
Amen! ( MATTHEW 19:14 )
Thank you, Pastor Allen for sending on this
I pray it blesses many!.........Dede