By Kristin Bien (firstname.lastname@example.org)
BERRIEN SPRINGS — For Christians, Easter weekend is about more than bunnies and eggs. Every year, Andrews University in Berrien Springs teaches the biblical Easter story to thousands of people. This is the 7th year the college has presented the East Passion Play.
Beginning with a dramatic first scene, the story a Jesus was played out before nearly 8,000 people Saturday. "It is about Jesus and about the fact he died for our sins. And the beautiful end to the story is that he rose again and he is going to take us to heaven," says Bonnie Dent a volunteer actress for the show. Nearly 800 volunteers helped depict the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ at the 7th Annual Easter Passion Play at Andrews University.
As audience members followed Jesus in his final days, they were also able to see, hear, taste and smell what it was like to live back then. "As I am playing this role. I am also thinking, I can't believe this man would come here and die for us like this. It is just so amazing," says Emmanuel Reaves a volunteer actor who plays Jesus. As the performance moved from scene to scene some in the audience cried, others stood in shock. It was a chilling reminder for those that believe in his sacrifice. "Knowing about what happened to Christ and what he did for us is the biggest reason we are here," says Lauren Sorensen who brought her husband and two sons to the play. "So for me it a reminder of the times in which he lived. The amazing person called Christ," says Pastor Ron Whitehead, the Assistant to the President at Andrews University. A powerful and interesting story, no matter what you believe.
The Easter Passion Play is an annual event. If you didn't get the chance to go this year, you can plan on next year. The play is held every year on the Saturday before Easter.