Last night, we welcomed people from recovery centers from all over the area. They came with hurts, habits, and hangups. They left with a great opportunity for a fresh start. Today we recap what happened both during and after the performance.
It was another great crowd. The 600+ hurting people cheered through every scene and were leaning forward at every word of Jesus. Though the crowds that come over the next 7 performances will dwarf this audience, the passion and desperation they brought will be hard to match. It's so rewarding getting to minister to people who truly desire to hear and receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Miracles Make the Moment Matter
Probably the best received scene was the miracles. This crowd responded to the healing and miraculous touch of Jesus. I actually noticed it at first in the Temple Cleansing. In that scene, Jesus heals a lame man and a blind woman. Both times, the crowd broke in with applause and cheers. This carried over into the miracles scene where their cheers grew and grew with each healing touch and word from Christ.
This biggest cheer came when he healed the lepers, though. Perhaps its because what the people in the audience are going through is so easy to relate to what a leper went through in Christ's time. Lepers were covered in an oppressive disease, sometimes brought on by their own sin and mistakes. They were ostracized from society and even threatened by some, including their loved ones, if they came around. That sounds a lot like an addict today. Unfortunately, they are bound by a disease-like oppression that is often brought on by their own bad choices and the temptations of this world. They are in a place where society shuns and vilifies them, and even have trouble connecting with their loved ones.
Yet, just like the lepers 2000 years ago, last nights these people were not shunned by Jesus. Christ's mercy is just as real and available today as it was back then. This crowd got a hold of that idea in the Miracles scene and they carried it through the rest of the production. We could hear them weep at the Last Supper. They reached for Jesus in the Garden. Their hearts broke for Christ in the Procession and Crucifixion. Finally, they were ready by the time the stone rolled away from the tomb.
The altar filled with people needing special touches from Christ. I led a man named Billy down to the altar. He was reserved at first, but I could feel that he needed a special touch from Christ. He shared with me his story and his desire to be free from his past and to find peace in Jesus. We prayed and he walked away with hope in his eyes that wasn't their when I met him.
Several other people I prayed for were already ready to speak in tongues by the time I got to them. As they were filled with the Holy Ghost, I felt God speak through me to them that their situations were already changing. Jesus was sending His angels forth to do the work in their lives. These people received it so beautifully as they sunk deeper into the loving arms of Christ in prayer.
Finally, I met a man name Shane. I didn't find Shane in the altar. I found him in the parking lot on the way to my car. He was weeping and I was tired. At first, I started past him just ready to get home after a long preparation and performance. But God stopped me. I turned around and went back to him and point blank asked him what he needed from God. He shared his need with me but also what God had spoken to him. God wanted him to help other people who had gone through what he was coming out of. Before me was a potential Paul and I nearly passed by him. Thank God for the Holy Spirit that checks us with conviction. I prayed with him their in the parking lot and he was overcome with the presence of the Lord.
Main Performances Coming
I'm so glad that God uses all of us in this cast in so many ways. I'm believing that we will hear and see reports of what has gone on so far for months to come. It's only been two nights, but Above All has already been a success. The main performances, though, are going to have an impact like we've never seen. I can't wait to share them with you.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.