Bringing the Text to Life

Being Jesus John 20:1-18

Being Jesus

In Orlando, Florida, Jesus gets crucified — and resurrected — six times a week. It’s his job. What does the resurrection tell us about our vocation as Christians?

Les Cheveldayoff gets crucified six times a week.

It’s not that he has a bad job, it’s — well, it’s that getting crucified is his job. He gets resurrected six times a week, too, so it’s all good.

Les Cheveldayoff is Jesus. At least he portrays Jesus at a park in the midst of the vacation land of Orlando, Florida. Les is a ruggedly handsome guy with long wavy and sandy hair, a full beard, smiling eyes and six-pack abs — the prototype of the popular picture of Jesus (at least in this part of the world).

For six years, Les has been part of the cast at The Holy Land Experience — an interactive living history park/ministry that was the dream of founder Marv Rosenthal, a man who, although born into a Jewish family, converted to Christianity and became a Baptist minister. The Holy Land Experience, which opened in 2001, is no bathrobe biblical drama. It was designed by Orlando-based ITEC, which worked on nearby projects like Disney’s Mission:...

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