AUBURN — Jesus Christ, played by Shawn DeGraff, has risen.

A cast of 155 at the East Auburn Baptist Church demonstrated how Christ lived, was murdered and rose from the dead on Saturday in a powerful show.

The church presented “The Event,” bringing to life the last few years of Christ’s life, how he preached, performed miracles, ate with the apostles, was tortured and crucified and rose from the dead.

The play was filled with music, realistic costumes and props, convincing acting and singing, all provided by church members. During the program, the aisles frequently filled with peasants in robes or Roman soldiers, who seemed to transport the audience to Jerusalem 2,000 years ago.

Pastor Roger Cousineau welcomed the packed house of hundreds, saying the production involved more than 200 people working on staging, lighting and special effects. He added that more than 6,000 people have seen the show.

Jesus’ life was anything but ordinary, Cousineau said. “Here we are in the New England states 2,000 years after his life, still talking about him.”

The program opened with the stage full of village people, the pharisees and Roman soldiers. A narrator told how at the age of 30, Jesus stopped working as a carpenter and began ministering.

Many of the scenes featured characters on stage interacting without lines as soloists sang. At other times narrators, dressed in costume, told the story. Playing Jesus, DeGraff preached familiar words.

“Love your enemies without expecting anything in return. … Be kind to each other. Do not be quick to criticize others of their faults and failures, unless this is how you want to be. Give away your life, and you will find life given back to you with abundant blessings. For it is better to give to receive.”

The play showed Jesus healing the sick, bringing a dead child back to life. As word of his preaching and miracles spread, his followers grew, threatening the pharisees who plotted to have him killed.

One scene featured a distressed Jesus as he knelt and prayed. Dancers portraying good and evil moved around him. The evil dancers crawled and tried to take over as the good dancers, standing straight and in white, held them off.

After Jesus was arrested by Roman soldiers, the house lights went up.

Pastor Cousineau came out saying the next scene would be a “realistic” crucifixion scene that may upset children. He invited parents to take their children out and bring them back in 10 minutes to see the resurrection. A number of parents followed his suggestion.

When the play continued, Jesus was bloodied, wearing thorns on his head. Pilate, played by John Pillsbury, sent him off to his death appeasing a crowd calling for his crucifixion. A minute later, Jesus stumbled down the center aisle under the weight of the cross.

Soon he was on the cross, breathing heavily. As he gave up his last breath, the sound of thunder and flashing lights filled the auditorium.

After his body was laid in the tomb, Mary, played by Carla Lobley, gave a heart-wrenching testimony of her grief that her son was gone.

In the resurrection scene, Enya-like music played. Two high-intensity black lights lit up angels who walked down the aisle and surrounded the tomb. Light, and smoke from dry ice, came from within the tomb. The stone moved. In a white robe, Jesus stepped out.

As the production ended, the resurrected Jesus was surrounded by followers. He told them to go out and preach what he taught then. “And remember, I will always be with you, even to the end of the ages.”

He walked out of the auditorium, followed by 154 cast members.

Delores Hall of Oxford called the program “fantastic.”

Peter Lobley of Massachusetts described it as “very powerful, real life. The tomb is now open and the lord portrayed there is still living. It’s amazing.”

East Auburn Baptist Church arts director Randy Corey said the production most years is offered during the two weeks before Easter. It costs more than $8,000 to produce, but is shown for free. “God’s love is free,” he said.

The church also produces a popular Christmas program. The Easter show is different in that Christmas is a celebration, Easter has a deeper meaning.

Audience members have seen the life of Jesus, how he loves everyone, what he did, Corey said. “Now decide, what are you going to do with what you’ve just seen?”

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