”In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” Hebrews 9:22.
CONTINENTAL — Free Christian Church of God will present the Easter production “Journey, The Story of the Blood” Friday and Saturday, April 12-13, and Thursday and Friday, April 18-19, beginning at 6:30 p.m. each evening.
Most people understand that Easter is about the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, but not everyone understands why things happened as they did. Why did Jesus have to be crucified and die such a bloody death? And why did he have to rise physically from the grave?
“The message of the Bible is linked from Genesis to Revelation, with God telling us the same story over and over again in many different ways so that we will understand the relationship He desires to have with us, and the length he will go to in order to save us from our sin and restore that relationship,” said Pastor James Fry. “Everything is connected. Only God could give us such a wonderful book.”
“Journey, The Story of the Blood,” follows the necessity of the blood in the salvation of mankind from the Old Testament through the New Testament, from the fall of man in Genesis through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is an eye-opening experience that brings out the beauty and magnitude of the sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary.
The story begins in Egypt at the time of the first Passover as the faithful Hebrews sacrifice a male lamb of the first year without blemish, and then paint the blood over their doors sparing their home and family from the death angel. The blood will continue to be used prominently throughout the production.
After Passover, the story moves to the Wilderness Tabernacle where the high priest enters the Holy of Holies (the inner room of the sanctuary before the Ark of the Covenant).
“We are trying to make clear that Jesus is the Ark of Covenant and it is his blood that falls on the Mercy Seat where salvation is found,” Fry said.
From there, the production moves to the New Testament and the upper room where Jesus shares the Last Supper with his disciples. At that time the audience also receives communion and shares it with Jesus and the disciples.
As the production continues, it moves to the betrayal of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane by Judas, and the events leading up to Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.
“During the show, the audience becomes part of the production, which enhances the experience,” said Fry.
“We don’t just want people to watch ‘Journey,’ we want them to feel part of it because this isn’t just a Bible story, but it is ‘our story.’
“The ending is my favorite part,” said Fry. “We want the audience to leave on a high, and what could be better than to get a glimpse into what God has in store.”
This year’s production of ‘Journey’ has some new music, new characters and some different story lines. Fry encourages everyone, “even if you have seen ‘Journey’ before, this will be fresh and new.”
Fry shared that there are more than 200 people in the cast and crew.
“We have been working on this for several months,” said Fry, “and I’m very proud of my congregation.”
Some of the main roles in the production include: Lee Newcomer as the High Priest; Dr. Martin Miller as Pharaoh; Jacob Fry as Jesus; Elizabeth Hartman as Mary; Sarah Tackett as Mary Magdalene; Collin Manning as Peter; Zach Kreischer as Judas; Mark Wilson as Pontius Pilate; Andy Grant as the Roman centurion; John Lawson as Satan; Tom King as Caiaphas the high priest; Marcus Offerle as Herod; and Jerry Bowers as the angel of God.
“The Easter season isn’t about bunnies and eggs ... but it is about the culmination of 4,000 years of history taking place with the death and resurrection of Jesus,” said Fry. “It is God showing us that the only way to atone for the sin-curse of man is through the shedding of blood. Without it, there is no forgiveness of sins. May we never trivialize the greatest event in human history.”
Tickets for ‘Journey’ are $5, and seating is limited to the first 500-plus people each night. Tickets are available by calling 419-596-3103 Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., or by visiting www.freecog.org.