One of our adventures today was a tour of Calvary of Banská Štiavnica, built from 1744-1751. It is an artistic depiction of the passion of Christ in 25 separate small chapels leading up and back on a steep hill.
As I walked from chapel to chapel and viewed the storytelling artwork and pondered Jesus’ life on earth, it stirred within me a deeper understanding of the events and a renewed gratitude for what Jesus accomplished through His death, burial, and resurrection — the forgiveness of my sins by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus alone.
At one point as Larry and I worked our way down the hill, he stopped in his tracks and began to talk sweetly to someone or something. It took me a minute to realize that he was talking to a little bird the size of a finch. He was consoling the bird as it stood on the walking path. It appeared to be injured and unable to fly. Larry kept speaking kind words to the bird and assured it that we would help place it in a higher place to protect it from predators on the ground.
Two more from our team walked up to crouch down and enjoy the beauty of the little bird. It didn’t move as we began to take photos of it, other than moving its head toward each of us as if posing for each person’s photos.
Just as Larry finished saying he would lift the bird up to a branch, it suddenly took flight.
The bird we thought was injured and unable to fly took flight beautifully, just as it was created to do.
To me the bird was the most powerful illustration of our Calvary walk. Although it was not actually injured, we thought it was, so when it flew away it seemed to be miraculous.
In that moment, I could vividly see in my mind’s eye that I once was like a bird that could not fly. I was terribly injured by sin, and I could not do the very thing that God created me to do. But, through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, He healed me and forgave me of my sin. When I placed my faith in Jesus, through the love and grace of God, He made me a new creation. God made me new, and He set me free to be who He made me to be and to do the things He designed me to do.
Like the bird, I have now taken flight and there is ultimate joy in being freed to be who He made me to be!