He’s Alive!

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As many of you are aware we have just completed the first year of doing the Passion Play here at Abundant Life.  We had 105 people involved in the production with five performances and about 2500 people in attendance.  Hundreds of hours of work went into sets, soundtrack, props, acting, music, publicity and hospitality.

Many times during the years of working on this production I have asked why we do it and if it’s worth all the effort.  That question is always answered at the first performance every year.  If someone were to poise the question of why we do it to me I know exactly how I would answer.  “I Like Seeing It.”

I’ve heard and told the story of the life of Jesus thousands of times.  I’ve studied each of the gospel accounts to a degree that I think would put me in a fairly small fraternity.  I’ve listened to these gospels many times over on my Ipod as I read along with the narrator.  However, there is something about seeing it acted out.  I realize that the actor that we have playing the part of Jesus probably does not look at all like Jesus and that our sets aren’t really that accurate to first-century Jerusalem but there is something in the effort.  You see for me as the director to give direction on how I believe things looked and how people acted I have to imagine them real.  I have to imagine how Jesus interacted with those the scriptures describe.

The magic for me is in construction of the characters.  My process is that I take everything I know from the scriptures and everything that I believe the scriptures allude to and weave it together into gestures, attitudes, and priorities that get projected on to the character of Jesus in our play.  Might we be missing it to some degree?  Absolutely, but the real deal (in the words of Eric Hoffman) is bringing Jesus from the realm of story and fairy tale into the realm of reality in both my mind and the minds of those who see the play.

For me that’s a defining moment in a person’s walk towards eternity-saving faith, that moment when Jesus becomes a real person rather than a character in a story.  How about you?  Is Jesus real or just part of a story that you heard?  Not sure which one describes you?  Do a simple test.  Do you talk to Jesus?  Out loud?  Do you go through your days thinking about what he thinks or feels?  If not then perhaps He’s still just a part of a story.

He is real and alive and IS thinking about you.


2 thoughts on “He’s Alive!

    Carmen said:
    April 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    I only got to see the play once and it touched my heart tremendously. I was sitting next to Jose, he’s an 11 or 12 year old boy that came to the play with his mom Karen. It’s hard to put into words his reaction to the play. He’s just learning to speak English and he’s never been a regular attendee at church, so I had to translate a number of things for him. What touched my heart the most is when the Roman soldiers were whipping Jesus, he turned to me and with wonder in his eyes said, “But Carmen, he’s Jesus, why doesn’t he save himself?” I had to answe him right then and there and I said, “Jose, Yes, Jesus could have saved Himself, but He chose not to because of you and me. He paid the price of our sins.” Jose came back to see the play a second time with all his family.
    Yes, all the work and hours spent on this production was worth every minute, hour and days; if just one life is starting to change by seeing this play, it’s worth it. In fact, by personally inviting Karen over and over to come to the play, she will be the person that I will disciple once I finish my book. I only have one more session to go.

    I know that my Jesus is real in my life. Yes, I talk to Him quite a bit throughout the day. I couldn’t make it without Him.

    Praise the Lord.

      joni responded:
      April 23, 2012 at 8:57 am

      Carmen, that really touched me! I pray that God can use us to touch lives and I believe he is doing just that!

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