Today I went with my Bible study friends to see The Thorn in Denver. It’s a play about Jesus, primarily the Easter story. It had some crazy awesome things, too, like dancers and fire-twirlers and silk aerialists. Even some indoor fireworks. I’ve seen passion plays before, but this was on another level.
All of these extra effects were amazing, but the part that touched me the most was Jesus and the children. Jesus never spoke as part of the production; it was primarily just a narrator. But you saw him dancing with children, hugging them, and healing them. I had to choke back tears a few times.
As I watched, I was suddenly struck by the fact that Jesus was human. You could touch him. You could see him. You could smell him, even. I looked at the head of the person in front of me and thought, “Jesus was like that. He had a head and a body like that guy. Just another person that you could sit next to. I mean, not ‘just’ another person because he’s God, but– oh, yeah, there’s a play going on…”
But my mind kept drifting back to Jesus having a physical body. I imagined the hairs on his legs. The tough callouses on his palms. Twigs and leaves caught in his hair. The smell of sweat and dust. Him grabbing children and tossing them in the air while they shrieked with joy. A real person! It’s hard to remember that sometimes because I’ve never seen him. Touched him. Smelled him.
He walked down the street just like I do. He ate food. He sneezed. He had morning breath. He got food stuck in his teeth. He probably even stubbed his toes on occasion and had a sore back in the morning.
I thought of the woman who touched Jesus for healing. I can understand her desire to just reach out and *touch* him. Feel him. He’s real! He’s here!
He was God. With skin on. God come down to Earth. To be among us. To become one of us. To show us that he loved us.