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My daughter was four years old and about to see her first Easter play. Like most little girls at Easter, she was all decked out in her flowered outfit, patent leather shoes, matching purse, white lace gloves, and to top it all off – her beautiful Easter hat.

As the play started, she saw the actors come on stage and screamed with excitement, “THERE’S JESUS!” He was playing with the children on the stage and she wanted to know why she couldn’t go up and play with Jesus too. My response to her was, “Honey, this is only a play. He’s only an actor. This isn’t real.” “Okay,” she said, “but will you pick me up so that Jesus can see my hat?”

During a scene of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, soldiers came barging in yelling and screaming. My daughter became so frightened that she turned her face away, buried it into my chest and began to cry. Again I tried to rationalize with her, “It’s okay, honey. This is only a play. These are only actors. It’s not real.” So she agreed to watch some more.

Then came that dreaded scene. Down the isle of the church came Jesus dragging His cross – people yelling and cursing him. This was too much. She could not bear to watch. I held her tightly and tried to comfort her. “It’s okay, honey. This is only a play. These are only actors. It isn’t real.”

Next, the soldiers grabbed Jesus, threw him against the cross, picked up their hammers and ---SLAM!--- She screamed at the top of her lungs, “NOOOOO! THEY’RE KILLING MY JESUS!” She cried so loud and so long that I had to rush her out of the auditorium. I took her outside where she could finish watching the play on the outside TV screens and told her Jesus was going to come back to life if she would watch. But she would not be consoled until she could see Jesus alive again. At the end of the play, she was determined to go up and see Jesus and have him hold her in his arms to ensure he was alive.

Many people were in that auditorium that day. Like me, they had all gone to see a play – only actors – it wasn’t real. But when we saw the Gospel through the eyes of a child, the Gospel became real once again.

Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly…” Has the Gospel become to you just another story? Has it lost its appeal? Its richness? Its life? Then maybe you need a good dose of child-like faith this Easter.

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