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easter

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INTRODUCTION

Many of us will have heard the Easter story in the Bible. It's the story of the torture, trial, death and then resurrection (which means coming back from the dead) of Jesus, the Son of God.

VIDEO

Myfishbites has put together a video clip of the Cross and Easter from The Passion of the Christ (12A rating).

 Here is the direct link to the video on Youtube.

THE PASSION

Some people may have heard of this movie. It was made by Mel Gibson and is the last few days of Jesus and his life on earth. Mel Gibson has explained this was a movie he 'had to make' and all those involved were really affected by it. The actor who played Jesus was even hit by lightning in exactly the same location while filming the death of Jesus on a cross, 2 days in a row! This movie took a massive $76.2 million in its first weekend, the 7th highest opening weekend of a US film ever. The story about Jesus, it seems, is still relevant today.

THE PLAY

We thought we'd give the story of Easter a personal touch and hear from the character's who were there to see what they thought of Jesus.. (each character is played by a different actor. They will need to explain who they are)

If you have the media skills (and get timings right) you could play a video behind the speakers - maybe use the Jesus Video, Jesus of Nazareth, Story Keepers, Miracle Maker etc. It may need editing, looping etc. If you got the skills, do it cos the funkier the better, without being too distracting obviously!

PETER

I can't believe it. I've let down my best friend just when he needed me the most. It was because I was scared, I don't mind admitting it He was more than a friend, he was my guide, my helper, someone who was always there for me But more than that he was the Son of God - the Saviour that God had promised. His name was Jesus if you're wondering. I met him when I was fishing and he said, 'Come and follow me and catch men and not fish'. It sounded a bit strange so I went and followed him. Amazing things happened You know he turned water into wine, made blind people see, calmed storms, one time he even raised a dead man called Lazarus! And despite all this, despite all things he did for me, I've let him down. I denied I even knew him ­ just to save myself..

THE THIEF

My whole life has been a mess. From when I was just a young kid I've been in trouble with the Romans. I've been put in prison, I've been flogged with whips, I've been kicked out of towns because of my stealing. Eventually I ended up here in Jerusalem - you can merge into the crowds here. But trouble has always followed me and it caught up with me again. I was passing by the house of one of the Roman governors and saw a nice bit of jewellery. Thing is, the missus of the house saw me so I pulled a sword on her They wanted to make an example of me so they put me up for crucifixion next to this Jesus, which was fair enough. I know I've done wrong. But Jesus was unbelievable. Another criminal also being crucified called him names so I just told him to shut up. Even I fear God. And Jesus said to me, 'Today you will be with me in paradise.' Unbelievable

PILATE

I became a Roman governor by accident. My dad was the governor and his dad before him. I suppose you could say being governor runs in the family. Can't say it's something I wanted to do but it does bring its perks. Thing is, with the perks come the responsibilities and the decision-making times. I had to make a decision about whether this man Jesus should be crucified or whether this criminal Barabbus should be crucified. Jesus hadn't done anything wrong whereas Barabbas had committed many crimes. I couldn't believe it, the crowd yelled for Jesus' blood. I asked them time and time again but they wanted Jesus crucified. It was like a madness possessed them. I couldn't decide, the pressure was too much. So I did what the crowd wanted - I handed Jesus over to be killed (hangs head in shame).

MARY

It was my boy they killed - my son, Jesus. They killed him for a crime he didn't commit. They killed him even though he was innocent. Someone who was born in such poor circumstances became such a great man. A great teacher, a great Son and someone we were so proud of. His life was a time of miracles, of love and of great things - even from his amazing birth through to the miracles he performed and the people he helped. And I watched him die there on the Cross. I saw the soldiers ram a spear into his body. I saw his hands nailed to a wooden cross, I saw the blood and water pour from his side. I saw his sacrifice, I felt his pain, I saw his face of agony and yet a face of love. Why did he do this? What did it mean? What will it mean? I suppose I must trust God as I did when the Angel appeared to me telling me about Jesus' birth saying he would be called 'Emmanuel' which means God with us. I wish he was with me now

END

Who is Jesus? Who is this man who made such an impact on the world 2000 years ago? Who is this man who Christians believe is still alive today? This Easter it's time to move beyond the chocolate eggs and find out more about Jesus

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