17 April 2015 by Adeline Lum CM-
“This musical opens our eyes to see that most things we place our hope in, like shifting sands. That was what Peter, the main character of the musical, experienced.
“He tried so hard to find life’s fulfilment and significance, only to fall flat, with stinging failure and regret,” said Rev David Seah, the Publicity Coordinator of the recent Easter musical production, “Mercy Came Running” at Calvary Convention Centre, casted by a 165-strong production team of seven to 75 years old, at the on April 3rd.
Based on the perspective of Peter in following Jesus, he took the audience through the victorious ministry of Jesus on earth till his seemingly hope-shattering crucifixion on the cross. Like all the Jews, they have expected their Messiah to gain political power over the Romans and establish their kingdom.
But Jesus’ plan of the Kingdom far extends beyond our fleeting mortality, the vain pursuit of power and wealth, and the exclusive salvation to one nation. Instead of focusing on the educated and affluent of God’s laws, Jesus has purposefully spent a lot of his time with sinners. And whenever He was challenged by religion, He focused on relationship.
A scene showed how Jesus Christ defended an adulterous woman from being stoned to death. Instead of prosecuting her, Jesus stooped down to the level of the woman and wrote on the ground. And straightening up, He said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7) This scene brought the Bible to live. Jesus physically stooping down showed us His tender mercies and firm protection over her from the religious Pharisees.
The scene continued with the adulterous woman singing of her unworthiness, yet she is fully accepted and loved by God. As the story unfolded, we saw Jesus’ healing ministry, including the healing of the lame and the opening eyes of the blind, to the amazement of the villagers! Many people surrounded him, praising him of his miraculous wonders. Yet, this is a stark contrast of His lonely crucifixion at the opening of the production. Brilliantly captured by the clever shadow play on a white backdrop, Jesus was deserted by his followers and disciples, even His own Father in Heaven.
Sitting on a chair, Peter, the storyteller, told the audience of how his misplaced hope on overcoming the Romans and his self-dependence were both shattered with Jesus’ crucifixion. A scene showed how Peter denied Jesus not only once, but three times before the cock crowed. Yet, in his most broken self, Jesus appeared to Peter again, redeeming the hope for an everlasting kind of Kingdom.
The scene ended with the disciples and villagers, first in disbelief that Jesus Christ has resurrected, to rejoicing for seeing Jesus face-to-face! Coming together in an angelic chorus, the whole cast production came onstage, almost representing the 500 people and the disciples who saw Jesus face-to-face. Come to think about it, they were the very first people who boldly shared the gospel of Christ around the world, scattering seeds that now grew to 2.18 billion Christians, which is one-third of the of the world’s population.
Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.” (Matt 4:30-32)
Such is the power of a community of believers who love God and share the gospel of Jesus Christ! Had they not boldly preach the gospel to all men; we would not have heard the Truth with our ears today. God’s mandate for us remains the same today, which is to preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations. This is because God never gave up men and He desires for all men to be saved! (1 Tim 2:4)
Lastly, the musical production was beautifully crafted based on the eyewitnesses of Apostle Peter and the villagers, about Jesus Christ. Some say Christ is a prophet, some say He is a great teacher, and still some say that He is not of a sound mind. Jesus asked Peter this question, “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matt 16:15-16)
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