I had heard about him before, about his loyal disciples, strange parables, and mostly of his extraordinary miracles. He was all that everyone talked about nowadays. My father, a synagogue leader, talked about him more than most. Father claimed that this man was the Messiah, the Son of God, the King who would come to save us from our sins. Mother, on the other hand, called the whole thing a bunch of nonsense. She couldn’t imagine how the Savior of the world could be born in a manger, or dressed in poor clothing, or a willing guest at a tax collector’s house. And me? Well, I didn’t know what to think of him. My parents argued about it frequently, as if it really mattered. After all, if he were the Christ, he would save us from the brutal hands of the Romans in no time. No one can fake saving people—and that’s a fact.
One day when I was twelve-years-old, a terrible sickness befell upon me. I had to stay in bed for several weeks.
At first Father would sit by my mat and read to me from the scrolls that contained stories of Moses and Abraham, the Laws which God had given to us, and much more. I especially liked the prophesies. They told about the Messiah, and I liked to see if they matched up with the mysterious man, Jesus. It was hard to figure out, though. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law did the figuring out, but most of them were scared of Jesus—at least that’s what Father said. I couldn’t understand why. I had never met him, but even if he was as scary as some people thought, I’m sure he’d be pretty nice once you got to know him. Anyway, Father was the only one I knew who would read the prophesies and automatically think of Jesus whenever they mentioned the Messiah. I tried to squash the image of him into the scrolls, but he just didn’t seem to fit. Father had met him before and was amazed at his teachings. He always said, “You’ve just got to get to know him to see who he really is.” So that became my present goal in life—trifling if he were a mere man, but extremely significant if he were the Son of God.
Soon I discovered that it would be a long time before I could have any hope of meeting him. I became too ill to concentrate on the meaning of my father’s gentle tone and inflection as he read the scrolls. I felt fiery hot and sickly cold at the same time, and beads of sweat wet my face while goosebumps coated my arms.
I wondered what would happen if I died—if I’d be saved from my sins and receive eternal life, or be judged for my sins and be hurled into the darkest of places. As my illness worsened over the weeks, thoughts entered my mind that are too horrible to recount completely. God hates me. I will surely die. This is the end. I am too wicked and corrupt to please God. I began to regret ever single sin I had committed. Why had I day-dreamed when I should have been fetching water? Why had I sneaked that morsel of food during the famine? Why had I been so awfully callous and uncaring to my siblings and parents? I deserved God’s judgement, his wrath, or whatever it was that he had against me. This was the end of me.
My mother kept coming with soaking rags to lay on my forehead. She would talk to me softly, but I couldn’t comprehend the words. I slept most of the time. Soon her words blended in with the meaningless sounds pounding in my ears and heart, and the rags that clung to my forehead merged with the coldness of my nightmares.
One day, the darkness finally consumed me, swallowing me whole. My senses left me, and I lay lifeless on the mat that had held me for three weeks.
Father said afterwards that he heard Jesus was in our town, and he ran to meet him through the crowds of people immediately after my death. He knelt before Jesus and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.”
Father said that Jesus and his disciples came to our house, and Jesus ordered the pipe players and mourners to go away. He told them that I wasn’t dead, but asleep. They just laughed at him. It took awhile for them to go away, Father said. They must have not cared about me, really, because no one who has lost someone they loved can turn from immense mourning to uproarious laughter. I don’t think it’s in the laws of nature.
Anyway, I didn’t have any opinion on the matter during this time, because I was dead, I think. I can’t actually remember.
But what I do remember is the feel of his hand, and the sound of him declaring, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”
It was like a burst of energy coursing through me, and I opened my eyes to see the glowing face of my Savior. My first thought was that I couldn’t wait to tell Mother that he was the Messiah. I stood up, the sickness having completely left me, and a joy and life overcoming me. I couldn’t stop the big, wide smile that crept across my face as I gazed at Father and Mother, who had just dropped their jaws an utter astonishment. I felt more alive than before I had died—I felt a peace and a soothing conscious of God. He had saved me—not from the Romans, but from death. Life with him was far greater than being rescued from the Romans.
Father and Mother just stared at me for a long time with their mouths hanging open and their eyes wide. I wanted to give Mother a giant hug, and tell her that Jesus was the Son of God, but I was afraid that would scare her.
Finally, she rushed up to me and embraced me tenderly in her arms. “My daughter, you are alive. You are alive!” Then, she hurried to Jesus’ feet, proclaiming her gratitude with joyous tears running down her cheeks.
She believed he was the Messiah that day with all her heart. My father believed more than ever, and they argued about it no more.
And me? Well, I was alive, wasn’t I? Did I need any more proof? No, I had finally gotten to meet this man. And Father was right. You just got to get to know him.
Based off of Mark 5:41 and Matt. 9:15-19, 23-15