Portland News

April 16, 2017

Sunday Easter Concert

At this year’s Easter concert, Gary Riler directed the choir and orchestra as they presented a cantata titled “The Borrowed Tomb.” The drama cast included over two dozen actors who were directed by Tina Weaver.

In the first scene, Nicodemus (Bill Smith) and Joseph of Arimathaea (Doug Schuermyer) discussed their skepticism regarding a recent spiritual revival led by John the Baptist (Ryan Erdmann). Once Jesus (Jeff Yellott) stepped on the scene, the religious leaders immediately rejected Him, but Nicodemus was genuinely intrigued. The audience saw Jesus patiently teaching Nicodemus and then the choir explained the reason Jesus had come in the beautiful song, “God So Loved the World,” which recites the words of John 3:16. In another scene, Mary Magdalene (Imelda Nedelcu) told Nicodemus how Jesus had changed her life. In the song “The Love of Jesus” she sang, “There’s something about the love of Jesus that’s hard to comprehend. There’s something about the power that frees us, I may never understand.”

The Triumphal Entry came to life with the song “Blessed Is the King of Israel,” and the next song, “O Gethsemane,” reminded everyone of the burden Jesus carried for us. During the Crucifixion scene, moving illustrations of Jesus on the Cross were projected as the choir sang “And Can It Be?” with “Grace Flows Down” and “I’m Amazed,” featuring Deborah Brenner as soloist.

The storyline continued to follow the life of Nicodemus, who expected to be punished for not having done more to help the Messiah. The song “Father, Forgive Them” made the point that Jesus did not come to condemn but to save sinners. Suddenly, the lights went dark and flashes of lighting were seen coming from the inside of a tomb. When the lights came back on, the choir declared the good news in the exultant finale, “Jesus Christ is the Risen Son,” featuring a duet by Chris Luka and Ashley Morgan.

A sweet spirit was felt during the wonderful musical. The presentation helped the congregation have a deeper appreciation for Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection. It truly was an outstanding program.

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Easter Concert 2017