Jesus and the Passion
As you will see Jesus defies description in so many ways. There is no simple response to who he is or what he says about himself. He lived most of his life in an obscure village in first-century Isreal and worked as a carpenter until he was thirty. He was also a man who spent three years of his life publically teaching people about the kingdom of God and attracting passionate attention that has continued for over two thousand years.
He described himself as God in unmistakable claims that were both controversial and undeniable. Controversial because such claims were in violation of the Jewish law. Undeniable because they were accompanied by spectacular miracles. Water was turned to wine, bread was multiplied to feed multitudes of starving people, blind men received sight, crippled beggars walked again, distraught women saw their children raised from the dead, tormented people received peace and sinners were forgiven and released from guilt and despair.
Because of these claims, Jesus was suspected and hated by many people who saw this display of the kingdom of God as a threat to the existing political and religious regimes. He was betrayed to his enemies by one of his companions and although innocent, he was condemned to death by both Roman governors and Jewish religious leaders.
When he was dead, he was placed in a borrowed grave and his friends and followers fled in fear of a similar fate. But that wasn’t the end of the story. What follows is an account of the defeat of death, the chance of new life and the hope of resurrection. It is a story that is still being told in free performances all around the UK today.