Mention the name Orlando, Florida and the first thought that comes to most people's minds is Walt Disney World. Now there is another park, of a different kind, known as The Holy Land Experience. Last Friday, I joined a busload of people on a tour organized by Trinity Broadcasting Network, owners of the park. It was an experience - a very good one. From immaculate landscaping, elaborate artistry and stellar dramatic presentations, the Holy Land Experience embodies the words, Give God the glory.
Unfortunately, our tour only lasted one day and therefore we could not do and see as much as we would have liked. However, the little we did get was more than worth the cost of getting into the park. We began our day with a visit to an outdoor presentation of The Sermon on the Mount where Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes and His disciples distributed to the crowd.
Next, came a stop at the Church of the Nations where a dramatization of Where Heaven & Earth Meet was in progress. If you have ever asked yourself why does God not answer our prayers to save our loved ones from death, or what happens to them after they die, this presentation answers those questions in a poignant but Biblical way.
To appreciate The Four Women Who Loved Jesus, one has to look past the great acting and beautifully embroidered costumes to the manifestation of Jesus' grace portrayed in this little drama: the woman with the issue of blood; the Samaritan woman; the woman caught in adultery and Mary of Bethany. Each of these women showed real reasons why they loved Jesus. Do you know why you love Him?
After a hurried snack, we made a quick stop at the Jerusalem Model, a miniature of the city of Jerusalem, where a guide gave a narrative journey of the city, explaining such things as the temple mount, the Eastern Gate and other famous Biblical sites.
But the highlight of the day came at the end when we sat in the packed auditorium and viewed The Passion. I think this dramatization surpassed the Mel Gibson movie with the scope of its content. While the movie focused only on Jesus' life and death, the play went on to show His resurrection, ascension into heaven and his victory over Satan.
I came away from The Holy Land Experience with a renewed sense of hope in Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday, today and forever. And a promise to myself to return to this enchanted place where His Name is glorified in the best way possible. If you are ever in Orlando, this is one park you must visit.