Monday, November 30, 2020

The Real Thing

By David Bragg

    Almost 400 years ago much of Europe, Asia and Africa were devastated by the bubonic plague. When the outbreak erupted among the villagers of Oberammergau, Germany, according to tradition, they made a vow that if God spared them from this terrible disease, they would stage a portrayal of the death of Christ on the cross. The plague passed and they kept their vow.
    Starting in 1634 the citizens have staged their Passion Play every ten years. It was delayed in WWI, cancelled in WWII, and rescheduled in 2020, because of COVID-19, until 2022.
    The story is told of an American tourist attending the play. He really wanted his picture made holding the cross used by the actor portraying Jesus. But when he tried to lift the wooden cross to his shoulders the man was surprised at its weight. He asked the actor, “Why is it so heavy?”
    The actor’s reply: “If I did not feel the weight of it I could not play the part” (Don Cox, Jackson, MO Church of Christ).
    When contemplating the cross of Jesus, we need to feel the weight of it. The burden of sin carried on His innocent shoulders. The weight of MY sins that, if just for a moment, separated Him from His Father, our God. That is no superficial love. It is the real thing.
- David Bragg serves as one of the ministers at the Northwest Church of Christ in Greensboro, NC and is co-editor of BulletinGold. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: or his blog:

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