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[♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [applause] Welcome to the 2016 Heart of America Christmas Pageant. My name is Brandon Park, I have the privilege of serving as the lead Pastor here at First Baptist Raytown. I want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy holiday schedules to come and join us in celebrating what is arguably the most important event in all of human history. Because Christmas is all about the God of this universe stepping out of Heaven to join His creation here on this earth. See, this is so much more than just a story about a little baby in a manger. This is more than about kings and shepherds and angels—this is a story about how God became a person so that you and I can spend eternity with Him. Our production this year is a little bit different. Specifically, it does not begin or end quite like you might think that it would. Because the story of Christmas did not begin in a stable in Bethlehem. Actually, it began in the ancient prophecies of scripture mentioned thousands of years ago. But it didn't end there either. In fact, it did not even end with these words. [panting] It is finished! [thunder and lightning] [thunder and lightning] ♪ What about the Kingdom ♪ ♪ What about the power ♪ ♪ What about the thrones ♪ ♪ we thought would be ours? ♪ ♪ All our dreams are dashed ♪ ♪ All our hope is gone ♪ ♪ Staring out on one more ♪ ♪ cold and sleepless dawn ♪ ♪ What about the soldiers ♪ ♪ What about the priest ♪ ♪ How long 'til they're here ♪ ♪ And the same thing waits for me? ♪ ♪ What about the darkness ♪ ♪ something in me died ♪ ♪ the Savior I have trusted ♪ ♪ I saw crucified ♪ [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ I saw Him walk upon the water ♪ ♪ I saw Him calm the angry sea ♪ ♪ One day I spoke ♪ ♪ with such assurance ♪ ♪ I said You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God! ♪ ♪ And yes, indeed, I thought He was. ♪ ♪ We thought He was. ♪ ♪ Oh, but this changes everything. ♪ ♪ We thought He'd be the King ♪ ♪ and reign forever from His throne. ♪ ♪ But look what they have done ♪ ♪ They crucified God's Son. ♪ ♪ And now we're left here all alone. ♪ ♪ And now we're left here on our own. ♪ [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ At Jacob's well ♪ ♪ this stranger found me ♪ ♪ somehow He knew my history ♪ ♪ My thirsty soul found living water ♪ ♪ I ran to tell everyone ♪ ♪ I'd met the Christ Himself! ♪ ♪ And yes, indeed, I thought He was ♪ ♪ We thought He was ♪ ♪ Oh, but this changes everything ♪ ♪ We thought He'd be the King ♪ ♪ And reign forever from His throne ♪ ♪ But look what they have done ♪ ♪ They crucified God's Son ♪ ♪ And now we're left here on our own. ♪ ♪ And now we're left here on our own. ♪ ♪ This changes everything ♪ ♪ We thought He'd be the King ♪ ♪ And reign forever on His throne ♪ ♪ But look what they have done ♪ ♪ They crucified God's Son ♪ ♪ And now we're left here on our own ♪ ♪ And now we're left here on our own ♪ ♪ This changes everything ♪ [applause] [applause] Hurry, Miriam, it won't be safe on the road after dark! But I don't see why we had to leave! Don't you understand how dangerous it is for us now? Soon the others will have to leave Jerusalem as well. But Cleopas, I told you, the tomb was empty! Mary and I saw it, why don't any of you believe us? Stop saying that! And even if it was, don't you see that an empty tomb, it only makes things worse! I don't know what happened to His body, but the Romans, they don't need an excuse to blame us and arrest us as well. Can't you understand how much this changes everything? Shalom, sir. Shalom to you. May I walk with you, my friends? Oh, well, we have a very long journey ahead. We are headed all the way to Emmaus. Well, I am going north as well. Well, then of course, you may join us. We would enjoy the company. Now, I couldn't help but overhear your conversation as you had approached. What is it that you were discussing? Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there the past few days? Things? What things? About Jesus of Nazareth. He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. We had hoped that He was going to be the One to redeem Israel and free us from Roman rule. But the chief priest and our rulers, they handed him over to Pilate to be sentenced to death. And they—they crucified Him three days ago. But some of us still believe He really was the Messiah. To make matters worse, some of our women went to the tomb early this morning, but they— they didn't find the body. They said that they saw a vision of angels that told them that Jesus was alive. And you didn't believe them? No, they didn't believe. We saw them whip Him through the streets. They nailed Him to a cross—He was dead! The Messiah—the Messiah is to come and free us, not to die. Everything has been so confusing the past few days. Were you followers of His? We first heard about Jesus when He was teaching in Capernaum. Our son became one of His close followers. But if He was from Capernaum, how could He be the Messiah? The prophet Micah says the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem and be from the tribe of Judah and the house of David. But He was born in Bethlehem. His father, Joseph, was of the lineage of David. So they had to travel there for the census, even though Mary was nearing her time of delivery. So that's where Mary gave birth. There were many stories going around at the time of the birth of Jesus. We heard of angels appearing to shepherds out in the fields around Bethlehem announcing the birth of the Messiah. And then there was the story of the kings following a star and traveling from the east to find the Messiah. But I never heard a word about any of that from Mary. Even when I asked her specifically, she never would talk about what happened during that time. [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ Joy the world, the Lord is come ♪ ♪ Let earth receive her King ♪ ♪ Let every heart prepare Him room ♪ ♪ And heaven and nature sing ♪ ♪ And heaven and nature sing ♪ ♪ And heaven and heaven and nature sing ♪ [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ While by the sheep we watched at night ♪ ♪ Glad tidings brought an angel bright ♪ ♪ How great our joy ♪ ♪ Great our joy ♪ ♪ Joy, joy, joy ♪ ♪ Joy, joy, joy ♪ ♪ Praise we the Lord in Heaven on high ♪ ♪ Praise the Lord in Heaven on high ♪ ♪ How great our joy ♪ ♪ Joy, joy, joy ♪ ♪ Praise ye the Lord in Heaven on high ♪ ♪ Praise ye the Lord in Heaven on high ♪ [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ Angels we have heard on high ♪ ♪ Sweetly singing o'er the plains ♪ ♪ And the mountains in reply ♪ ♪ Echoing their joyous strains ♪ ♪ Gloria ♪ ♪ In Excelsis Deo ♪ ♪ Gloria ♪ ♪ In Excelsis Deo ♪ [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ Gloria ♪ ♪ In Excelsis Deo ♪ ♪ In Excelsis Deo ♪ ♪ Gloria! ♪ [applause] [applause] So you were very close to the family of this Jesus? Oh, no, not really. Well, his mother Mary was a distant cousin, so we grew up together. A very distant cousin. We rarely saw the family. What was Mary like as a child? She always was a very serious child. Very religious and spent as much time as she could in the synagogue. Of course, it is the prayer of every Jewish maiden that they would be honored to give birth to the Messiah, but I never thought it would happen to someone I knew. In spite of all the rumors of angels, kings, no one really took them seriously. And, and that was over 30 years ago. No one expected Jesus to be anyone special. Except for Mary. I think she alone knew what lay ahead for Jesus. [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ Love came gently ♪ ♪ soft as a baby ♪ ♪ born to a lowly virgin girl ♪ ♪ wrapped in rags and laid in a manger ♪ ♪ love came gently to our world ♪ ♪ Only shepherds and the wisest ♪ ♪ found Him beneath the stars so bright ♪ ♪ while the nations ♪ ♪ lay deep in slumber ♪ ♪ love came gently in the night ♪ ♪ no applause, no fanfare of trumpets ♪ ♪ Heralding hope had come to earth ♪ ♪ for the promise tenderly answered ♪ ♪ choosing instead a humble birth ♪ [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ Love came gently ♪ ♪ sweetly to save us ♪ ♪ Knowing the price He'd have to pay ♪ ♪ And to all who ♪ ♪ Trust in the Savior ♪ ♪ love comes gently ♪ ♪ love comes gently ♪ ♪ love comes gently ♪ ♪ still today ♪ [applause] [applause] That must have been amazing. The Torah says that God would raise up a prophet like Moses from among the people. But you probably didn't expect it to be in your lifetimes. No, and we certainly did not expect it to be Jesus. I mean, we only saw them occasionally at family gatherings because we moved from Nazareth to Emmaeus after we were married, so we had not seen Mary in many years. Our son James was the one to tell us about Jesus after He had been traveling in the north had to stop in Capernaum to spend the night. But he said you could hardly move through the streets because of the crowds. People had come from all over the Galilee to see the man who was doing miracles. Healing the blind and the lame. So, James pushed through that crowd to see who this man was. And imagine his surprise when he saw that it was Jesus! He, uh, he stayed there much longer than he had planned and we were worried when he didn't return home as scheduled. I remember when he did come home. It was only to gather up a few of his things. He was so excited to tell us about Jesus. But Miriam, she was not so excited to see him leave again so soon. James, I don't understand why you must leave. I have to, listen, mother, all my life you and father have taught me that God had promised a Messiah to save Israel. Jesus is that Messiah. But how do you know? What makes you so sure? Oh, mother, you would not believe the amazing things I've seen. The lame walk and the blind see, and at first that was what drew me to Him. But now I've had hours to sit and listen to His teaching. He's like no other rabbi that I've ever heard. But what about the work here? Your father can't do it all himself. Why don't you come and hear Him for yourself? Not now. Maybe after the harvest. Where will you be staying? How will you live? Well, Jesus travels all over Galilee and even to Jerusalem, so it's hard to say exactly where I will be. We do spend a lot of time at Capernaum. Many of His other disciples are from there. Mother, don't worry about me. This is where God is calling me. Won't you and father just come and see Him for yourself? I will speak to your father. We will try. [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ We would abandon it all ♪ ♪ for the sake of the call ♪ ♪ No other reason at all ♪ ♪ but the sake of the call ♪ ♪ Holy, devoted to live and to die ♪ ♪ for the sake of the call ♪ [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ Nobody stood and applauded them ♪ ♪ so they knew from the start ♪ ♪ this road would not lead to fame ♪ ♪ all they really knew for sure ♪ ♪ was Jesus had called to them ♪ ♪ He said come follow Me and they came ♪ ♪ With reckless abandon, they came ♪ ♪ Empty nets lying there at the waters edge ♪ ♪ told a story that few could believe ♪ ♪ and none could explain ♪ ♪ that some crazy fishermen ♪ ♪ agreed to go where Jesus led ♪ ♪ with no thought of what they would gain ♪ ♪ for Jesus had called them by name ♪ ♪ And they answered ♪ ♪ we will abandon it all for the sake of the call ♪ ♪ no other reason at all ♪ ♪ but the sake of the call ♪ ♪ holy, devoted to live and to die ♪ ♪ for the sake of the call ♪ [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ drawn like the rivers are drawn to the sea ♪ ♪ there's no turning back ♪ ♪ for the water cannot help but flow ♪ ♪ once we hear the Savior's call ♪ ♪ we'll follow wherever He leads ♪ ♪ because of the love He has shown ♪ ♪ and because He has called us to go ♪ ♪ we will answer ♪ ♪ we will abandon it all ♪ ♪ for the sake of the call ♪ ♪ no other reason at all ♪ ♪ but the sake of the call ♪ ♪ holy, devoted to live and to die ♪ ♪ not for the sake of a creed or a cause ♪ ♪ not for a dream or a promise ♪ ♪ simply because it is Jesus who called ♪ ♪ and if we believe we'll obey ♪ ♪ we will abandon it all ♪ ♪ we'll abandon it all ♪ ♪ we will abandon it all ♪ ♪ for the sake of the call ♪ [applause] [applause] Who would have thought that such excitement could come from the Galilee? Do you remember, from the writings of the prophets, that Isaiah promised that the Messiah will honor Galilee of the Gentiles by way of the sea along the Jordan? Hm, I, uh, I should've remembered that prophecy. Every time we saw James, he was so excited. Hundreds of people were coming to hear Jesus teach, bringing their sick to be healed. But that didn't keep us from worrying about James. Worried? What was your worry? It wasn't that we objected to the healings of Jesus. It's just that he was so outspoken, especially to the religious leaders. They did not like being challenged, and we knew that word would get back to the high priest, and Cleopas was especially concerned for James' safety. [whispering] Abba! So good to see you! What are you doing here? James, I need to speak with you. What's the matter? Is it mother? Is she all right? -She's fine. We're both fine, but son, we are worried about you! Me? Why are you worried about me? I have never been better. It's just that we keep hearing stories about Jesus, and we wanted to warn you. Word has spread that He was the dinner guest of Simon the Pharisee, and He insulted him in his own home. Son, that is only going to create problems! Abba, you should have been there. I don't know why Simon invited us to dine with the synagogue leaders. Maybe he was trying to trick Jesus into saying blasphemy, or maybe he was just curious. But during the dinner, a woman from the streets who had already received the grace of Jesus, she entered very boldly. She began to weep at His feet and then she wiped her tears with her hair. I wish you could have seen the look on the faces of the Pharisees. But that is what I am talking about! Even though we are far from the politics of the high priest, word will eventually get back to Jerusalem. I'm sure the high priest will hear of this. Because not only did Jesus accept this show of devotion from a common woman, but then He forgave her of her sin. Abba, I'm telling you, Jesus is the Messiah. You must come and see Him for yourself. He cares for the poor and for the needy. The blind see and the deaf hear, all of this is happening right before our very eyes! [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ At His feet the woman poured out oil and worshiped ♪ ♪ even hungry multitudes were satisfied ♪ ♪ at His feet the darkness bowed in fear and trembling ♪ ♪ dead things came alive ♪ ♪ there is power for the powerless ♪ ♪ healing for the brokenness ♪ ♪ found here at His feet ♪ ♪ right here at His feet ♪ ♪ mercy for the captive soul ♪ ♪ hope that holds and won't let go ♪ ♪ found here at His feet ♪ ♪ right here at His feet ♪ [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ at His feet there's still a place for those who seek Him ♪ ♪ there is a never ending flood of love and grace ♪ ♪ at His feet we find ♪ ♪ an open invitation where no one's turned away ♪ ♪ oh ♪ ♪ there is power for the powerless ♪ ♪ healing for the brokenness ♪ ♪ found here at His feet ♪ ♪ right here at His feet ♪ ♪ mercy for the captive soul ♪ ♪ hope that holds and won't let go ♪ ♪ found here at his feet, right here at His feet ♪ [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ these feet we gather around ♪ ♪ we'll make the journey to the cross ♪ ♪ these feet we bow before, will carry sin for us all ♪ ♪ these feet that will take our nails ♪ ♪ will reign in victory ♪ [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ there is power for the powerless ♪ ♪ healing for the brokenness ♪ ♪ found here at His feet, right here at His feet ♪ ♪ power for the powerless ♪ ♪ healing ♪ ♪ right here at His feet, right here at His feet ♪ ♪ hope for the captive soul ♪ ♪ hope that holds and won't let go ♪ ♪ found here at His feet, right here at His feet ♪ ♪ oh ♪ ♪ at His feet ♪ ♪ there's mercy and hope ♪ ♪ at His feet ♪ ♪ at His feet the children gather 'round in wonder ♪ ♪ even raging ocean waves bow down ♪ [applause] [applause] For two years, James followed Jesus. We only saw him when the group came nearby. Like to Jerusalem for the festivals. At first, we met up with the followers of Jesus just to see our son, but soon we began to realize that this man, this boy we had seen as a child was something very special. So at the end of the harvest, Miriam convinced me that we should travel north to visit her family and hopefully find James and Jesus. It was so exciting! There was such excitement and joy surrounding Jesus, and everywhere we went, people were talking about Him. Groups were gathering all over Judea and Samaria hoping that finally we would be rescued from the Romans. We didn't know how He would do it, but we just knew that it would happen. And when we traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover feast, there was this tremendous excitement in the air, the prophecies would be fulfilled, and we would be free! Shout and be glad, oh daughter of Zion! For I am coming and I will live among you! Rejoice greatly, oh, daughter of Zion. Shout, oh daughter of Jerusalem! See your King is coming, righteous and victorious! [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ Hosanna ♪ ♪ Hosanna ♪ ♪ Hosanna ♪ ♪ Hosanna ♪ ♪ Hosanna ♪ ♪ Hosanna ♪ ♪ Hosanna ♪ ♪ Hosanna ♪ ♪ Hosanna ♪ ♪ Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord ♪ ♪ Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord ♪ ♪ Behold the King ♪ ♪ behold His throne ♪ ♪ He will save us ♪ ♪ He will conquer, glory to His name ♪ ♪ Hosanna ♪ ♪ Hosanna ♪ ♪ Hosanna ♪ ♪ Hosanna ♪ ♪ Hosanna ♪ ♪ Hosanna ♪ ♪ Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord ♪ ♪ Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord ♪ [applause] [applause] The shouting and the cheering, that was the most exciting day of my life! But how quickly things changed. We thought He would be our King. We thought He would save us. May we rest a bit? I suddenly feel very tired. Here, are you all right? It's just that telling you all of this makes me relive it all again. We went from such excitement and joy to unspeakable sorrow. As the week progressed, we began to realize we may have been too eager to cheer Jesus. Rumors were all over the temple that the high priest and certain members of the council, they felt threatened by Jesus. Especially when He turned over the tables of the money changers in the temple. And with the growing crowds in Jerusalem, the Romans were on edge as well. If we had only known, we would have warned them. But it was the first night of Passover, and the streets were once again quiet as we all gathered for Seder dinner with families and friends. ♪ This is my body that is broken for you ♪ ♪ take, eat, remember ♪ ♪ this is my blood ♪ ♪ that is poured out for you ♪ ♪ take, drink, remember ♪ ♪ whenever you eat and when you drink ♪ ♪ do this in remembrance of Me ♪ ♪ do this in remembrance of Me ♪ ♪ Lord, we remember ♪ ♪ Lord, we remember ♪ ♪ Lord, we remember ♪ ♪ and we are thankful ♪ ♪ this is my body ♪ ♪ that is broken for you ♪ ♪ take, eat, remember ♪ ♪ this is my blood ♪ ♪ that is poured out for you ♪ ♪ do this in remembrance of me ♪ ♪ do this in remembrance of me ♪ ♪ do this in remembrance of me ♪ ♪ do this in remembrance of me ♪ ♪ do this in remembrance of me ♪ [applause] Don't you know? There was nothing you could have done to stop the events of this past week. Did you not believe what the prophets had said about the Messiah? Why do you speak to us this way? All throughout the Torah, God has told you what to expect when the Messiah comes. That He would have to suffer before He would enter into His glory. And that in the end, even He— He would be abandoned by those that He loved. I don't know the Torah like my husband, but I don't understand how this could be God's plan for the Messiah. Yes, yes, it was. Didn't Isaiah see it? By oppression and judgement, he was taken away. But who—who of his generation protested? And what does Zachariah say about the Messiah? Awake oh sword against my shepherd. Against the man who was close to me. Strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered. That's exactly the way it was that night after the Passover meal. I'm ashamed to say that His disciples and all of us deserted Him when He needed us the most. [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ See Him in the garden ♪ ♪ on His knees ♪ ♪ praying to the Father ♪ ♪ as He bleeds ♪ ♪ under such strain ♪ ♪ bearing the pain ♪ ♪ see Him there ♪ [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ bent at the knee He cries ♪ ♪ for He knows tomorrow ♪ ♪ He must die ♪ ♪ He will pay the price ♪ ♪ see the heartache He bears ♪ ♪ see Him there ♪ ♪ see Him in the garden ♪ ♪ alone ♪ ♪ praying to the Father ♪ ♪ Lord, Your will be done ♪ ♪ He will give His life ♪ ♪ the perfect sacrifice ♪ ♪ see Him there ♪ ♪ see Him there ♪ ♪ see Him there ♪ [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] We never thought that they would arrest Him. He had done nothing wrong. And for the high priest to take him to Pilate for trial, what a betrayal to our people to as the Romans to help with their plans. Isn't it written that ruthless witnesses would come forward? Attackers gathering against Him, they slandered Him without ceasing. Mocking Him and gloating over His shame! He was betrayed and accused by false witnesses. Yes, but we did not expect these prophecies to be about our Messiah! The Messiah is to be a king! It is also said that He grew up before Him like a tender chute, and like a root out of dry ground, He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him. There was nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by men. And like one from whom people hide their faces, He was despised. And we—we held Him in low esteem. [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ This fellow said ♪ ♪ I am able to destroy the temple of God ♪ ♪ and rebuild it in three days ♪ ♪ Are you not going to answer? ♪ ♪ What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you? ♪ ♪ Is this the way that you answer the high priest? ♪ ♪ if He were not a criminal ♪ ♪ we wouldn't have handed Him over to you ♪ ♪ tell us if You're the Messiah ♪ ♪ the Son of God, the Son of God ♪ ♪ He has spoken blasphemy! ♪ ♪ why do we need any more witnesses? ♪ ♪ Prophecy to us Messiah, who hit You? ♪ ♪ You were also with Jesus ♪ ♪ You were also with the Nazarene ♪ ♪ Surely you are one of them ♪ ♪ Your accent gives you away ♪ ♪ I do not know this man ♪ ♪ What is truth? ♪ ♪ I find no basis for a charge against this Man! ♪ ♪ I have found in Him ♪ ♪ no grounds for the death penalty ♪ ♪ Therefore I will have Him punished ♪ ♪ and then release Him! ♪ [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ which of the two do you want me to release to you? ♪ ♪ Barabbas! Barabbas! ♪ ♪ What shall I do with Jesus called Messiah? ♪ ♪ Crucify Him! Crucify Him! ♪ ♪ What crime has He committed? ♪ ♪ if you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar! ♪ ♪ Behold the man ♪ ♪ Take Him away! ♪ ♪ Behold the man! ♪ ♪ Crucify Him, crucify Him ♪ [yelling] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] Crucify Him! That's what they shouted! And no force on this earth could stop them. But I'm so ashamed. We just hid ourselves and watched it all from a distance. There was nothing you could have done. All our talk of fighting the Romans! It meant nothing in the end. Because— because we were so weak. It had to happen as it did. He was despised and rejected by men. A man of suffering and familiar with sorrows. He gave His back to those who would beat Him. He gave His cheeks to those who pulled on His beard. He didn't hide His face from the mocking or the spitting. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth. And He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And just—just as a sheep before its shearers is silent, He never opened His mouth. ♪ He could have come in all His splendor ♪ ♪ greater than the eye has ever seen ♪ ♪ He could have come with robes of thunder ♪ ♪ so all the world could see that He was King ♪ ♪ He could have ridden on a white horse ♪ ♪ as a warrior and conquered every land ♪ ♪ Oh, yes ♪ ♪ but He knew that If redemption's price were paid ♪ ♪ it would take a lamb ♪ ♪ It took a lamb ♪ ♪ to die upon a rugged cross ♪ ♪ it took a lamb ♪ ♪ only blood could pay the cost ♪ ♪ nothing less ♪ ♪ could take away my sin ♪ ♪ That is why the Great I Am ♪ ♪ didn't come as a king, because He knew it took a lamb ♪ [♪ instrumental music ♪] A band of evil men has encircled me. They have pierced my hands and feet, I can count all of my bones. People stare and gloat over me, they divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing. [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ for many years the temple altars ♪ ♪ were stained with sacrifices ♪ ♪ every day ♪ ♪ and though the blood appeased the Father ♪ ♪ still the curse of sin was never wiped away ♪ ♪ until one day the rule of justice ♪ ♪ was halted by a touch from Mercy's hand, ♪ ♪ Oh, Mercy's hand ♪ ♪ as the Father in compassion said ♪ ♪ it's time to send the spotless lamb ♪ ♪ the spotless lamb ♪ ♪ It took a lamb to die upon a rugged cross ♪ ♪ it took a lamb ♪ ♪ only blood could pay the cost ♪ ♪ nothing less, nothing less ♪ ♪ could take away my sin ♪ ♪ that is why ♪ ♪ the Great I Am didn't come as a king ♪ ♪ because He knew it took a lamb ♪ ♪ You were crucified for me ♪ ♪ Holy sacrifice ♪ ♪ behold the lamb ♪ ♪ behold the lamb ♪ ♪ nothing less, nothing less ♪ ♪ that is why ♪ ♪ that is why the Great I Am ♪ ♪ didn't come as a king, ♪ ♪ because He knew it took a lamb ♪ ♪ spotless lamb ♪ ♪ a holy lamb ♪ ♪ holy lamb ♪ ♪ He is the lamb ♪ [applause] It is finished! [cheering] [thunder] [crying] [thunder] [wind] [thunder] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds, we are healed. We all like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way and the Lord, the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] [applause] I want to thank you for your words of wisdom. You opened my eyes to many of the prophecies about the Messiah. I just never thought that He would have to suffer so. So many mysteries. But this morning when we were at the tomb, we saw the— Uh, um, friend, why don't you go draw some water from our well and wash the dust from our journey. Miriam, we need to be careful! We've probably said too much to that stranger as it is! What do you mean? When we left Jerusalem, he acted as if he had never even heard of Jesus! Yet, he has been quoting the prophets to us for miles! Do you think he was sent by the high priest? Oh, no, I doubt that Caiaphas would have time to send anyone for us. But this man is very knowledgeable about the scriptures. I don't—perhaps—perhaps he's one of those scribes who bury their nose in the Torah for study but they never really live outside the holy books. Well, we can't send him into the night without at least offering some hospitality. If Jesus was here, He would not send him away. You're right, Miriam. We are both exhausted from our journey as well as the stress of the past few days. I, uh, i seem to imagine a threat under every rock. This man, this man is harmless. Friend, it will be dark soon. Stay with us and share a meal. You shouldn't be traveling by night in such uncertain times. Thank you. I will have something ready soon. Cleopas, will you bring me some pomegranates and grapes? Yes. Can I help in some way? Oh, yes, I suppose you could help. You could pick a couple of pomegranates and then there should be a pitcher for water over by the well. So, you never did tell us exactly where you were heading. Do you have much further to go? My journey is almost complete. I am heading home to my Father's. Well, what were you doing on the road outside of Jerusalem when we first ran into you? I have been about my Father's business. But now, now I am going home. Here you are. -Thank you. And welcome to our home, here, I'll take that water. There you are. And then you may sit here. And Miriam and I will be over here. It is not much, but we have been away for a while. Perhaps, perhaps our guest would bless our meal? Baruch ata Adonai Eloheynu Melech HaOlam Hamotzi Lechem Meen Haaretz Blessed are You, Hashem, our God, King of the universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth. Rabbi! -Jesus! Jesus? Where did He go? Cleopas, did you see Him? It was Jesus! He was by our side the whole time! Oh, how could we have not recognized Him? But didn't your heart burn within you as He spoke to us? And when He reminded us of the scriptures! Jesus was with us the whole time! But we didn't see it! How could we have doubted that the Lord would take care of us? Oh, hurry, Miriam, we must go! Where? Where are we going? Back to Jerusalem! [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ What about the kingdom ♪ ♪ what about the power ♪ ♪ what about he thrones we thought would be ours? ♪ ♪ All our dreams are dead ♪ ♪ who rolled the stone away? ♪ ♪ they have taken the Lord from the tomb ♪ ♪ we do not know where they've laid Him ♪ ♪ Do not be afraid ♪ ♪ I know you're looking for Jesus ♪ ♪ He is not here, ♪ ♪ He is risen just as He said ♪ ♪ What about the darkness? ♪ ♪ Something in me died ♪ ♪ Quickly go and tell He is risen! ♪ ♪ He is alive! ♪ ♪ He is alive! ♪ ♪ This is the triumph, triumph of the ages ♪ ♪ evidence the grave is defeated this day ♪ ♪ this is the victory ♪ ♪ He knew was in store ♪ ♪ Jesus is Lord and now forevermore ♪ ♪ it is written ♪ ♪ across history's pages ♪ ♪ this is the triumph (of the ages) ♪ ♪ this is the triumph (of the ages) ♪ ♪ this is the triumph ♪ ♪ the triumph of the ages ♪ ♪ the triumph of the ages ♪ [applause] [applause] It is finished. Those were the words with which we began our story tonight. When Jesus said it is finished, He meant that His redeeming work on the cross for our sins had been completed. But here is the thing we have to understand. It's not finished for us until we believe in who Jesus is and we receive the gifts, the offer of salvation that He's offering to us today. I am so grateful that when Jesus died on that cross, He took my sins upon Himself. He took your sins upon himself. And when Jesus resurrected again from the dead, the empty tomb is God's receipt that the payment for your sins has been made in full. And that is what Miriam and Cleopas didn't fully understand at first. But that's what you and I need to understand today, because we have the truth. We have the full gospel. We can make that decision today to become followers of Jesus Christ. So today I want to ask you this question. Has there ever been that time in your life where Jesus Christ has changed you? Has He forgiven you of your sins? Now, notice that I didn't ask if you were religious. I didn't ask if you believed in God. I didn't ask if you go to church on a somewhat regular basis. I asked do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Do you know Him? Have you ever had your life changed by Him? If you're not sure where you stand with God, I want to invite you to respond to Christ today, to believe in who He is, to step across that line of faith and say yes to the offer of salvation that He is providing to you. So right now if you're willing to do that, I want to lead you in a prayer. And I want to remind you, it's not the words that you say that make you saved. It's not some kind of special magical incantation, it's a decision that you make with your intellect, your emotions, your will to say yes, I believe! And yes, I will follow. And if you're willing and ready to do that today, then pray this prayer after me. Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I know I cannot save myself. I know that without You, I will go to hell. But I thank You that You died on that cross for me. And today I am placing my faith in You for my salvation. I repent from my sins. I turn away and I turn to You. I receive Your offer of salvation and eternal life. And I want to follow you for the rest of my life. In Jesus name I pray, amen. Let's give a round of applause to all of those who made decisions for Jesus Christ just right now. [applause] [applause] Here is what I want you to do. Go ahead and take out that card that you filled out at the very beginning of our program tonight, it's your response to the Heart of America Christmas Pageant. You should have already had the opportunity hopefully to fill out your contact information, but here is what we want to do for those of you who made decisions today, I want you to see that little box on the right hand side of that card. See that little box where it says "today I prayed for the very first time, and I asked Jesus Christ to be my Savior and Lord." Check that box if you would. If you prayed that prayer for reassurance, check that box. Now, you don't want to go anywhere, because in just a few moments, we're going to have our grand finale. But I want to encourage you before you leave here today, if you'll just simply take that card and place it in the basket. There will be some ushers and greeters stationed at each of the exits. Just simply place that card in there. We want to be able to send you some free resources in the mail to get you started on your journey with Jesus Christ. To give you some tools to help you grow in your faith. That's what we want to do here as a church. We want to be able to equip you to become all that God wants you to be. I hope that this year as you've come and even experienced the full, total, complete reason for why we celebrate Christmas, you can see why we say that this changes everything. The Bible says that Jesus, He appeared to these men and women with many convincing proofs. History tells us that Jesus appeared to over 500 people over the course of 40 days. And then He ascended into Heaven. But the story does not end there, because Jesus is coming back again. [♪ instrumental music ♪] [♪ instrumental music ♪] ♪ This is the triumph ♪ ♪ the triumph of the ages ♪ ♪ Evidence the grave is defeated this day ♪ ♪ this is the victory ♪ ♪ He knew was in store ♪ ♪ Jesus is Lord now forevermore ♪ ♪ it is written across history's pages ♪ ♪ this is the triumph ♪ ♪ this is the triumph ♪ ♪ this is the triumph ♪ ♪ this is the triumph of the ages! ♪ ♪ The triumph of the ages! ♪ ♪ He shall reign forever and ever ♪ ♪ and He shall reign forever and ever ♪ ♪ and He shall reign forever and ever ♪ ♪ He shall reign forever and ever ♪ ♪ King of kings ♪ ♪ Forever and ever, hallelujah, hallelujah ♪ ♪ Lord of lords ♪ ♪ Forever and ever, hallelujah, hallelujah ♪ ♪ King of kings ♪ ♪ and Lord of lords ♪ ♪ Forever and ever, hallelujah, hallelujah ♪ ♪ King of kings ♪ ♪ Forever and ever, hallelujah, hallelujah ♪ ♪ Lord of lords ♪ ♪ King of kings and Lord of lords ♪ ♪ He shall reign forevermore ♪ ♪ He shall reign, He shall reign, He shall reign ♪ ♪ King of kings ♪ ♪ and Lord of lords ♪ ♪ And He shall reign forever and ever ♪ ♪ King of kings and Lord of lords ♪ ♪ King of kings and Lord of lords ♪ ♪ and He shall reign forever and ever ♪ ♪ Forever and ever, forever and ever ♪ ♪ Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah ♪ ♪ Hallelujah! ♪ [applause] [cheering]

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Duration: 1 hour, 19 minutes and 28 seconds
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Posted by: firstbaptistraytown on Feb 22, 2017

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