PASSION | Episode Nine | 3.31.13 | Resource: Bishop Sedgwick Daniels

9_Passion_Sedgwick DanielsDawn on the day of Passover. Peter, fearful and disillusioned, denies that he knows Jesus and realizes Jesus’ terrible prediction has come true. Judas faces his own guilt and hangs himself. Pilate’s wife is also troubled – she dreams that her husband is about to execute an innocent man. But Pilate has little choice. Caiaphas leans on Pilate, warning him that Jesus’ execution is necessary to keep the peace. Neither can afford for the teeming Passover crowds to riot. Pilate sentences Jesus to a beating – he does not want this man’s life on his hands. At a public trial, he gives the crowd an option to free Jesus, or to free murderer Barrabas. But the crowd clamour for Jesus’ death and Pilate grants them their wish. Jesus, mocked and beaten, carries his cross through the crowds to Golgotha, the hill overlooking Jerusalem. Here he is nailed to the cross, watched by his tormented mother, and left to die a torturous death. When he breathes his last breath, the city quakes and the skies blacken. The days following Jesus’ death are dark, especially for Peter who feels he failed Jesus. But when Mary Magdalene goes to Jesus’ tomb, the world is yet again turned on its head. The stone is broken, the tomb empty. A figure walks towards her… He’s back.

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COURAGE | Episode Ten | 3.31.13 | Resource: Pastor Mark Thomas

10_Courage_Mark ThomasPeter finally understands Jesus’ message, and his faith is rewarded- Jesus returns from death, commissioning the disciples to ‘go and preach to all creation’. Days later, in Jerusalem during Pentecost and with wavering faith, the disciples pray fervently and the Holy Spirit empowers them. Their godly mission begins, but it will entail a constant battle of hatred and violence from non-believers. When new follower Stephen speaks out against Paul of Tarsus he is stoned to death. Paul, whose belief in Jewish law has led him to despise the teachings of Jesus, is enlisted by Caiaphas to remove this new group. He starts beating them into silence. But on a journey to Damascus where he believes they have gone, he is met by a vision: he sees Jesus, and is instantly blinded. In an extraordinary change of faith, Paul is baptized and begins to preach passionately about what he has received – love and forgiveness for all. He meets a young Greek called Luke, and between them they go on to write most of the New Testament. But persecution still persists– disciple James is beheaded in Jerusalem and the disciples have no choice but to scatter. The word spreads with them, far and wide – Peter reaches Rome, Matthew and Thomas further still, but are all killed for their courage. Only their written word survives. But one last miracle remains – disciple John survives death and is instead exiled to solitary confinement on Patmos where he receives a revelation of hope – Jesus is coming back. And all who have the courage to keep the faith will be rewarded.

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