Posted on : Monday March 5, 2012

By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent

ELLICOTT CITY, Md.–Bethany Lane Baptist Church will present “The Easter Pageant” April 5-7. Written by Minister of Music Sherrie McKay, the show will feature over 100 people–and that’s in the opening Palm Sunday scene. The show features original music, actors, singers, dancers and stunt men.

McKay said this year’s program will introduce various characters who interacted with Jesus, their response to Him and how their lives were impacted.

Characters include a zealot, representing the Jews seeking a different kind of messiah; an adulteress, a leper, a blind beggar, a boy with a lunch of loaves and fish, Caiaphas, Peter, Judas, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Jesus, and others.

“Each one goes through a transformation process,” McKay explained, “until they see Jesus for who He claimed to be.”

Some of the actors had stage combat training and they use it to add some excitement to some intense moments.

“When Jesus clears the temple, people go flying through the air,” McKay said with a laugh.

At the end, it’s about the power of the resurrection. “It’s a vivid crucifixion and resurrection scene,” McKay said. Characters respond. “The Centurion says, ‘I buried him myself! There’s no way anyone could have stolen his body!” Mary says, “My Lord and My God!”

McKay said by using eyewitness experience, she wanted to help the audience process the arguments that often come up about Jesus’ resurrection. “It’s done in a creative context, not a sermon,” she said.

“We’re very evangelically focused. We want the believer to be built up and experience what Jesus did for us. Our passion is to get friends and neighbors to attend, and see the reality of the death of Jesus as Savior of the world. Every year we have people make first time professions of faith. Others rededicate their lives, and some come forward for prayer.

Performances are at 7 p.m. on April 5 and 6, and at 4 and 7 p.m. on April 7. Tickets are limited and available online or at the door. The cost is $5 for adults and free for children.