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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Worthy Is the Lamb (2004)

Jesus knows he has been sent by God as the Messiah to fulfill the foretold prophesies of the Old Testament prophets and the long awaited cries of the Jewish people. His courage, love, mercy and grace are all represented through his ultimate sacrifice. Worthy is the Lamb is an account of the last days of Jesus' ministry. Jesus has been preparing his followers for his death, burial and resurrection. As he tells his disciples of the final days ahead, he discloses that one of them will betray him. Judas feels unappreciated for his work in keeping up the financial portion of the ministry. As a result of his frustration, he has been taking money from the contributions given by the people, and yet feels he deserves more. All of the disciples are concerned by this accusation from Jesus and don't seem to notice as Judas leaves. The Jewish leaders have been angered by Jesus' proclamation of being the long awaited Messiah. Their own power and authority are at stake if Pontus Pilate, the Roman Emperor, thinks the Jews have acquired too much power. The Sanhedrin, the Jewish leaders, are looking for a way to stop Jesus without angering the people. Judas offers to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Jesus is betrayed by Judas as he is praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. He had asked the disciples to keep watch over him, but they all fell asleep, and the Roman guards arrive to arrested him. When Peter tries to fight off the soldiers with a sword, Jesus heals the wounded Roman solider and reminds Peter that those who live by the sword will also die by the sword. The disciples fear for their lives and go into hiding. The Sanhedrin accuses Jesus of blasphemy. Caiphas demands that Jesus be brought before Pontius Pilate. Pilate finds no fault in Jesus' behavior and offers him up to the people. Passover is a time that the Romans allow a prisoner to be released. Barabbas was a convicted murder, and Jesus was accused of blasphemy. The people shout to deliver Barabbas and to crucify Jesus. Peter is accused of being a follower of Jesus and denies knowing him. Judas realizes he has betrayed an innocent man and can no longer live with the guilt. Jesus is scourged and nailed to a cross. Unknowingly, his family and friends look on with great sorrow and despair, as Jesus conquers sin and death. He prays for those who persecute him and then gives his spirit up to heaven so that the prophecy might soon be fulfilled through his resurrection.


Treasures in Heaven (1991)

Two wealthy men respond to Jesus in very different ways. One, who is basically good, is unable to accept Jesus' directive that he give up the treasures of this world for the greater treasures of Heaven. The other, a sinful Publican, struggles to come to grips with his emerging faith in Jesus, and finally accepts with his fellow man and achieving eternal salvation. Zacchaeus is the Chief Publican of Jericho, gaining great wealth by cheating others. His young son has heard of Jesus and wants to go see Him. But Zacchaeus will not give up the opportunity to make money just to listen to a mere "rabbi." In the countryside, a wealthy young man finds Jesus preaching. When he asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus tells him to obey the commandments, to sell all he has and give to the poor. The rich man, unable o part with his gold, turns away. " How difficult it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God", observes Jesus. " It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle." When a man named Bartimaeus is arrested, he asks Zacchaeus to let him hear Jesus before being thrown in prison. Zacchaeus is troubled by the intensity of Bartimaeus' faith and sets him free. Zacchaeus then witnesses the miraculous healing of Bartimaeus by Jesus, who says, " Your faith has made you whole." Zacchaeus struggles to come to terms with his awaking faith. The things of the world have been replaced with a longing in his heart, and he prays that Jesus will heal him since, he says, "I am a sinner, and not worthy." But Jesus tells him, and us, "I have not come to this world for righteous only, but to seek and save that which is lost." Zacchaeus decides he will give half of his wealth to the poor, and repay those he has cheated. " Zacchaeus ", says Jesus, "today has salvation come to your house. Lay not for yourself treasures on earth, but lay up for yourself treasures in heaven."


The Righteous Judge (1990)

Jesus had to struggle with authorities who saw His message as a threat. Caiaphas, the high Judge, tries to trick Jesus into making a judgment against the legal and moral authorities. Jesus responds with the great command: "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone." On the street we see Aaron, a poor blind beggar. As two men pass him, one expresses the belief that Aaron's blindness is a punishment from God for his sins or the sins of his parents. Aaron is convinced in his heart and souls that Jesus can heal him, but he cannot find Him. His good parents set off to try to find Jesus. Caiaphas, the high judge of Israel, considers himself to be enormously wise - wiser than Solomon. He sentences a woman, who has been disloyal to her husband, to be stoned to death. News comes that Jesus has healed a man on the Sabbath even though, according to Jewish law, no work is to be done on the Sabbath. Caiaphas angrily sends men to arrest Jesus and they find Him teaching in the temple. He turns aside Caiaphas' men, saying they do not judge righteously. Caiaphas and his men then plot to trick Jesus. They bring the condemned woman to Jesus and ask Him to judge her. If He frees her, He is breaking the law of Moses; to sentence her to be stoned is to break Roman law. Jesus says, "Let him who has no sin cast the first stone." The members of the mob who gathered to punish her drop their stones to the pavement and disperse. Jesus tells the woman, "Go, and sin no more." When Aaron finds Jesus, Jesus anoints his eyes with clay and tells him to wash in the pool of Siloam. Aaron does so and his blindness is cured. Caiaphas questions Aaron, who replies that he was healed by Jesus. Caiaphas now knows that Jesus is a greater judge than he.


The Ministry of Paul (1992)

Paul's ministry is an act of continuing faith and determination in the face of opposition from both Jewish religious leaders and Roman civil authority. Paul tirelessly crisscrosses the Romans Empire time and time again, preaching the word of Jesus to Jews and Gentiles alike as he establishes Christian communities that would grow into a universal church. We begin with a meeting of the Pharisees, a strict Jewish sect which considers Paul's preaching and success in converting Jews to Christianity as a threat to their survival-a threat they must snuff out. We travel with Paul as he preaches to Jews and Gentiles alike, curing the sick and lame in the name of Jesus. But the Pharisees are unrelenting in their opposition to Paul's " blasphemy" arranging to have stoned. Paul continues his ministry, traveling about the lands of the Romans Empire where he and Silas are whipped and thrown into prison for preaching Christianity. Trapped in prison, they put there faith in the Lord and a massive earthquake strikes, destroying the prison and freeing Paul and Silas. In Athens and Corinth, when the crowd calls Jesus a devil and deceiver, Paul declares that he will henceforth preach only to the Gentiles. Paul prays for God's help in his work and Jesus appears, comforting him. " I am with thee and no man shall harm you here, for there are many souls that need thee," Jesus tells him. Restored in faith Paul continues his ministry. He sails back to the Holy Land where he is met and attacked by an angry mob of non-believers. The Pharisees go to Fetus, the Roman ruler of Jerusalem, demanding that Paul be put to death. Fetus decides to ask Agrippa, the Jewish King, to listen to Paul and see what he thinks. Paul explains to the king how he once persecuted Jews until his conversion on the road to Damascus, and since then he has preached the word of Jesus. King Agrippa, clearly moved by Paul's word, is nearly converted to Christianity." This man has done nothing wrong," he tells Festus and allows Paul to sail to Rome. Finally Nero, the Roman emperor,sentences him to death but Paul is ready. " I have fought a good fight," Paul says. " I have finished my course. I have kept my faith.


Messiah Comes! (2003)

Jesus offers deliverance from the bondage of sin and death and gives hope of eternal life through His atonement. The Messiah Comes opens with Cleopas getting ready to go into Jerusalem for the Passover. He is persecuted twice by Roman soldiers on his way to Jerusalem and is hopeful that the Messiah will bring them a new ruler. Once in Jerusalem, Cleopas meets up with Nicodemus, a Pharisee, and his friend. Jesus enters the temple and hears the noise of the busy commerce. Two Pharisees are sent to watch over Jesus while He is in the city. They have been told His followers claim He is the Messiah, and they do not believe it. Jesus makes His way to the moneychangers, begins to knock over tables, and disrupts the trading. Jesus is upset that His Father's house has been turned into a house of thieves. The Pharisees question His reasoning to destroy the temple. Jesus doesn't answer at first but then answers saying, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The Pharisees, Nicodemus and Cleopas are all confused by Jesus' words. The Sanhedrin is full of the governing council, the Pharisees, and they are debating Jesus' actions, His heritage and His claim to be the Messiah. Nicodemus leaves to find Jesus. Jesus appears on the edge of a cliff and tells him that a man must be born again to be saved and have eternal life. He continues by saying that just as Moses raised the serpent, even so shall He be lifted up. The following scenes show Jesus calming the seas of Galilee at night, bringing a child back to life, raising a widow's son from the dead, healing a crippled boy, forgiving a harlot and teaching the people to love their enemies. Jesus returns to Jerusalem again for the Passover riding on a donkey and is surrounded by His disciples. The Pharisees question Jesus' authority so Jesus responds with the parable of the Lord of the Vineyard which predicts His own death. Worried that the King will fear they have lost control, Jesus is arrested and judged. Jesus crucifixion is not shown, but the three crosses are seen on the mountain top. Next, Nicodemus is seen buying spices to prepare a body for burial. The last scene in the video is of Cleopas and a friend by the well discussing Jesus' crucifixion. Jesus appears asking, "Why are you sad?" Not knowing the man is Jesus resurrected, Cleopas begins to tell him about Jesus and how they thought the Messiah would come and deliver them from Rome. Jesus tells them that the scriptures teach that the Messiah would suffer and die for our transgressions and iniquities. Cleopas, his friend and Jesus break bread together. The nail marks in His hands are noticed, and the men realize that the man is Jesus. Jesus leaves the men, and Cleopas recognizes that three days have passed since His crucifixion. Cleopas now knows that Jesus rose from the dead and lives!


The Lost Is Found (1999)

Jesus uses the lives of Miriam, Jonah and Matthew along with the parables of the lost coin and the lost sheep to show how mercy, forgiveness and love are generously extended to all sinners. One sinner's repentance is rejoiced by many. The Lost is Found is the story of three sinners, Miriam the harlot, Jonah, a sick man, and Matthew the publican. The parables of the lost coin and the lost sheep are weaved into these three stories to show forgiveness for all sinners who repent. The video opens with Miriam working in a pub as a waitress and harlot. She is trapped in this life due to debt and guilt. A letter comes from her brother, Jonah, to the house of a scribe. The scribe reads the letter which tells of her brother's expected death. The scribe does not invite Miriam inside his house because he believes a sinner should not enter the house of the righteous. He goes to Miriam in the streets to offer her ten coins so that she might start a new life. The parable of the lost coin is weaved into the story of Miriam as she loses one coin, and all rejoice when the coin is found. Miriam tries to escape her life only to be betrayed. The video moves to the story of Jonah. He is lying sick in a bed and cannot be moved, so his friends carry him on his bed to see Jesus. They have heard of Jesus' many miracles. Once they are at the home where Jesus is teaching, the crowd will not allow them to enter. The friends climb up on the roof and lower the bed with Jonah down into the house through an opening in the roof. Jesus knows of the faith of Jonah and his friends and forgives Jonah of his sins. The teachers in the home think Jesus is committing blasphemy by forgiving sins. Jesus asks the teachers which is more difficult, to forgive sins or to tell the sick man to rise, take your bed and walk? In order to show that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins. Jesus tells Jonah to rise, take his bed and walk. Jonah does as commanded by Jesus and thanks Him for his forgiveness. Jonah and his friends rejoice. Jonah leaves to find his sister, Miriam, and tell her of the miracle and the forgiveness of Jesus. The last story is of Matthew and the tax collectors. Jesus invites Matthew to follow him. Matthew follows Jesus and invites the tax collectors to his house to meet Jesus at a great feast. Some teachers cannot believe that Jesus, a holy man, eats with sinners. One teacher goes up to the home and asks to see Jesus. When the teacher is inside, Jesus knows of his question and tells him that the doctor goes to the sick, and He goes to the sinners. The video ends with the parable of the lost sheep. This parable is weaved into the story of Jonah trying to find his sister, Miriam. After many hardships, the boy shepherd finds his lost sheep, and Jonah finds his lost sister. Jonah tries to persuade his sister to go and see Jesus. At first she refuses because she thinks of her many sins. While Jesus was having dinner at the home of a scribe whom questions Jesus actions, Miriam appears and washes Jesus' feet with oils and her hair. As she is crying and worshiping Jesus, the scribe wonders why Jesus does not rebuke her. Jesus tells the story of the debtors who were forgiven by the lender, and how they loved their lender for forgiving them. Miriam's faith saved her, and her sins were forgiven. In the end, Miriam is seen traveling to Jonah's home, free of the pub owner, and they rejoice together.


The Lord's Prayer (2001)

On many occasions Jesus taught His disciples the power of prayer through parables and example. After Jesus' resurrection and ascension into Heaven, His disciples find their faith tested when Peter is arrested and cast into a Roman prison. As Herod plots Peter's death, the believers gather together and follow the example that Jesus taught. Through faith and persistent prayer, Peter's chains are broken and the Angel of the Lord opens the prison gates. The united prayers of the righteous save Peter and is still a power on Earth without equal. Peter and Mark return to Jerusalem following a mission converting hundreds. The Romans despise the Christians and want to make an example of Peter. Roman soldiers arrest Peter. The disciples gather at Mark's house and discuss Peter's arrest. They recall when the Romans arrested James and killed him. Peter is charged with treason and informed, if convicted, the penalty is death. The disciples discuss how best to free Peter. The disciples feel anger toward the Romans but also feel hopelessness with the situation. Mark's mother, Mary, challenges the disciples and recalls Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. Joash believes it is weak to sit idly by and rushes off to free Peter. Following Jesus' example, the others gather in prayer. The disciples go door to door throughout the city of Jerusalem to ask fellow Christians to pray for Peter's release. Christians recall Jesus' parable about the friend in the night who continues to ask and finally receives his request for bread. They also remember Jesus' parable about the widow and the unrighteous judge. The widow's persistence enables her to win over the heart of the judge to get her house back. The Romans plan to secretly judge Peter in the middle of the night and the disciples' faith waivers again. However, Mary recalls how in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed to the Lord about His mission and man's salvation. Christians throughout Jerusalem continue to pray for Peter's release. Meanwhile Joash attempts to pay off the Roman guards to release Peter. The Roman guards trick Joash and take his money but do not free Peter. In the middle of the night, an angel rescues Peter and leads him out of prison. Peter beckons Rhoda to tell the others. The others see that Peter is freed. Peter shares with the disciples how their prayers have been answered and he was set free by an angel sent from God. Joash is humbled and falls to his knees in prayer. Peter leaves Jerusalem and instructs the remaining disciples to feed His sheep and teach them about the power of prayer.


The Kingdom of Heaven (1991)

Jesus uses a series of short stories, parables, to help us learn about the Kingdom of Heaven and about how to live each day. Eternal life, faith, judgment, obedience and preparedness are the principles explored in this video. The Kingdom of Heaven begins with Jesus in the clouds and angels in the background. There are people from different times and different races looking into the clouds and seeing Jesus. Jesus begins to speak to the people about the Kingdom of Heaven and how the treatment of others is the same as actions toward Him. Slowly, Jesus' shining garment is traded for an earthly robe and He is preaching to a gathering of people. Two Pharisees watch and listen. Boaz, one of the Pharisees, is angered by what he hears Jesus saying and the other Jeremiah is intrigued. David and Sarah, brother and sister, listen also. Boaz says that all Jesus does is tell silly stories. Jeremiah tries to explain that perhaps Jesus wants everyone to discover the meaning from the stories. Sarah agrees that Jesus is trying to teach about the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus says, "He who hath ears to hear, let them hear," and begins to tell a story. Jesus explains that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who plants a field of wheat. One night an enemy comes and scatters bad seeds among the freshly planted wheat. The Master comes to observe the crop and notices tares among the wheat. The wise Master tells the servant that it is not his fault, an enemy has done this, and not to pull up the tares because the wheat might be damaged as well. "Let them grow together until harvest and then the reapers will gather the tares together and burn them", the Master says. The wheat is gathered together and stored in his barn. The scene returns to the shores of Galilee where Jesus is preaching. Jeremiah is overjoyed that he understands that the wheat is symbolic of the good people, and the tares are representations of the bad people. Boaz claims that Jesus is teaching blasphemy and wickedness and demands that Jeremiah leave with him at once. Jeremiah is at a moment of indecision and then weakly goes with Boaz. Next, Jesus tells the parable of the Pearl. A wealthy merchant is visiting a seaside port and finds a precious pearl that amazes him. The wealthy merchant now dressed in common clothes, stands before a wealthy man and signs a piece of paper. The merchant then receives a chest of jewels and money which he sits behind him in a wagon. The wealthy man does not seem to understand the merchant's decision to trade all his belongings for a chest of jewels and money. The merchant returns to the seaside port and trades the chest of jewels and money for the pearl, stunning the shop owner. The video returns to the shores of Galilee where David, Sarah's brother, is astonished by hearing the parable of the Pearl. David states that he cannot give up all he has worked so hard for in life and follow Jesus. He decides to leave despite Sarah's plea for him to stay and hear the truth. Jesus then compares the Kingdom of Heaven to the parable of the ten maidens. Five of the maidens are wise and five are foolish. A wise maiden, Leah, walks with two foolish maidens who are going into town to wait for the bridegroom to arrive so they can follow him to the wedding. Since it is broad daylight, the foolish maidens do not understand why Leah had them bring their lamps so they did not fill them with oil. Leah tells them that sometimes the bridegroom does not arrive until very late. The bridegroom is shown getting ready for the wedding and tells his confidant that he will not leave until sundown, because he wants to make sure that everyone has a chance to get into town. At night, the bridegroom Judah and his confidant arrive. The Town Crier runs around the town announcing Judah's arrival. After several trips around the town, Judah is assured that all have had time to join the wedding party. Leah and the other wise maidens quickly join the wedding party with their oil filled lamps. The foolish maidens are unable to see and ask for some of the wise maidens' oil. Leah explains that they can not share oil because they would all run out of oil and quickly joins the wedding party. During the wedding procedure, Judah hears some women calling to him from outside the gates. He approaches them asking why they did come when he called. The foolish maidens say they have no oil and their light has gone out. Sadly, Judah says that if you were my friends, you would have come when I called. His last words were, "I know you not." Jesus is now speaking and says that we should watch, for we know neither the day of the hour when the Son of Man will return. James asks Jesus why He speaks to the people in parables. He tells him that their ears are dull and their eyes are closed. James asks about the parable of the sower. He understands that Jesus is the sower and the seeds are the word of God; but what does it mean, the seeds falling by the wayside? Jesus explains that there are those who hear the word and refuse to understand it, those that receive the word with joy at first but rebuke the word when persecution rises, and those that care for the world and the deceitfulness of riches and are no longer full of faith. Those that receive God's word into good ground and hear the word and understand it will bear fruit. The final scene is Sarah walking toward Jesus who is now in the sky surrounding by all the different people from different times and different cultures. All kneel to Jesus with him saying, "Come ye, blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."


The King Is Born (1987)

The coming of a savior, the Messiah, is foretold by prophets, announced by angles and realized in the birth of Jesus, only to opposed by worldly power in the person of King Herod. The King Is Born dramatically weaves together the key events surrounding the birth of Jesus. It places them in Biblical context, beginning with Simeon's vigil at the temple in Jerusalem to see the Messiah and continuing with the Angel Gabriel's visit to Mary. The search for lodging in Bethlehem introduces a humorous innkeeper and leads to the wondrous event surrounding the birth in a humble stable, including the visit of the shepherds and the journey of the wise men. We visit the royal palace to learn of a very different reaction by King Herod. As Herod's troops ride through Bethlehem, bent on killing every male child, Mary Joseph and the baby Jesus escape to Egypt. The video ends with their return to Nazareth, where a young Jesus works with his father in his carpentry shop, gaining wisdom and special gifts.


The Greatest Is the Least (1997)

The Greatest is Least is the story of how a man named Blastus tries to improve his standing with King Herod Agrippa by arranging a celebration with the neighboring lands of Tyre and Sidon. Blastus is shocked to find out Agrippa is already determined he must become the supreme ruler and has decided to invade these countries. In addition to this, Agrippa has had many Christians arrested for their faith in Jesus and has had them put in prison. James, an apostle of Christ, is arrested as he is trying to build a well to provide for the growing number of Christians. During James' imprisonment, he hears guards arguing over who will receive the new position of leadership in the prison. These events cause him to reflect upon the teachings of Jesus concerning authority. He remembers a time when his mother had approached Jesus and asked that he and his brother, John, sit at his right hand. Peter and Andrew also had a great desire for this honor. As the men argued among themselves, Jesus began to wash their feet. He humbly told them that even the son of man did not come to be served but to serve. James is moved by his memory and offers to take the place of an old man who is about to be whipped in prison. Vespi, the guard, assumes James is looking for favor in the eyes of the guards and trying to get ahead in the world. As James is lead to his execution, he is smiling at the old man and hears the sounds of angels singing. He is prepared to joyfully meet his master in Heaven. In the meantime, Agrippa is being worshiped as a god at the Banquet. The kings of Tyre and Sidon give Agrippa the praise for which he longs. As Herod Agrippa stands in his self proclaimed glory, God strikes him dead. In his arrogance he has neglected to serve and give honor to the one true God of Heaven.

The Good Samaritan (1989)

The video begins with a moving song which tells us that our "hands are the Lord's hands", and asks for His help for living in peace with our neighbors. Suddenly, we are in a room with Jesus and His Disciples. He tells them that many people have desired salvation. In a corner of the room, two men are in deep discussion. One of them, a lawyer, challenges Jesus to tell him what is to be done to inherit eternal life. Jesus tells the story of a man who needed to travel a dangerous road to Jericho to buy spices. We are transported by Jesus' words to a wayside inn. The innkeeper's young son overhears two robbers plotting to steal from people on the road. The scene shifts to the home of Jewish spice merchant. His wife worries about his trip to Jericho. But he must make the journey, so he bids his family farewell. On a isolated, mountainous road, the two robbers hide among the rocks. Soon the spice merchant comes into view. The robbers steal his gold and leave him for dead on the deserted road. Not long after this, a priest finds the abused man. He expresses regret, saying that if he were not "on the Lord's business" he would stop and help him. Next a Levite finds the dying man, but he is only concerned with his own safety and runs to avoid the robbers. Then a Samaritan tells the innkeeper's son, "I just did what anyone would do." He leaves money for the injured man's care. Watching all this, the young boy knows that the Samaritan is truly the good neighbor to his fellow man.


Saul of Tarsus (1990)

Saul of Tarsus, a student of Jewish law, zealously persecutes early Christians. But after experiencing a blinding vision of Jesus while traveling to Damascus, where he intended to carry out more persecutions, Saul converts to Christianity. Changing his name to Paul, he becomes a tireless evangelist, preaching in the name of Jesus to Jews and Gentiles alike from the Near East to Rome. Saul is a student of Jewish law who is implacably opposed to the "heresy" of the Christian .He stands by as the Jewish religious court, the Sanherdrin, sentences Stephen to death by stoning for his Christian beliefs. The eager Saul even holds the coat of one of those who stones Stephen. Like the others, he doesn't see as the heavens open to Stephen, who says, "Behold, I see the heavens open, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God." Even the moderating influence of his teacher, Rabbi Gamaliel, has no influence on the hot-headed Saul. Saul unleashes a reign of terror against the Christians of Jerusalem. Some manage to flee to distance cities like Damascus, but Saul is determined to pursue them and bring them back to Jerusalem for punishment. As Saul gallops toward Damascus on his mission of persecution, he encounters a vision of Jesus which changes his life forever. A great light streaks down from heaven and knock him on the ground. Jesus appears to Saul out of the light and ask him "Saul, why do you persecute me?" "What would you have me do?" the terrified Saul asks Jesus. Jesus tells him to go into Damascus where he will learn his fate. His soldiers have to carry Saul there, as he has been struck blind by the vision. The Lord the appears in a dream to Ananias, a faithful Christian, telling him to lay his hands on Saul and giving him back his sight so that Saul can carry out his chosen mission- "Teach my gospel to the gentiles, to kings and to the children of Israel." " It is by Christ that I an healed and for given," Saul replied, promising to preach the word of Jesus in every synagogue. Saul recognizes himself as someone born anew- Paul. Meanwhile, Caiaphas' men relentlessly search for Paul, ready to punish him as once he punished others. The Christians community hiding Paul helps him escape from Damascuc, lowering him over the city walls in a basket. Paul journeys to the cities of the Mediterranean world, preaching the word of Jesus.


The Prodigal Son (1988)

The Prodigal Son, Jacob, leaves his father's farm to seek his fortune in the city. Encountering many temptations, Jacob squanders his inheritance. Reduced to living with animals, he decides to return to his father's home regardless of the consequences. His father welcomes Jacob home, celebrating his return and forgiving him of his sins. With a group of followers gathered about him, Jesus tells the parable of the Prodigal Son, Jacob, the younger son of a successful farmer, begs his father for his inheritance so he can go to the city and become a rich money lender. Jacob's brother insists that Jacob stay and do his part of the hard work on the farm. But Jacob's father finally relents and bids a sad good-bye to his younger son. In the city Jacob sees temptations on every corner, and he wastes his money at every opportunity. When Jacob is chased through the streets by a group of beggars, he is rescued by the lovely Anna and her brother Fashid. Anna wants to help Jacob invest his money wisely, but Fashid merely wants to take advantage of Jacob. Within a short time, Fashid and Jacob Have spent all of Jacob's money. Jacob declares to Anna that he will return to Her when he is rich, but Anna can see only that he is foolish and wasteful. And now that Jacob is poor, Fashid turns his back on him. Jacob is reduced to begging in the streets. He leaves the city, wandering the countryside, where a farmer allows him to take care of his animals. Reaching a new low, Jacob eats with the hogs in order to survive. In total despair he decides to return home and beg his father to hire him as a servant. In front of his father's house, Jacob falls to the ground, begging forgiveness. His father, delighted to see him, throws a celebration in his honor. Jacob's brother, who has done all the work since Jacob left, is angry and feels that he has been slighted. But his father explains that he would have done the same for him. Jacob had to go through much to gain wisdom, but now, "He that was lost is found." Then the older son and his father go together to celebrate Jacob's return.


The Miracles of Jesus (1989)

Jesus calms the storm, walks on water, heals the sick, the lame and the blind and even raises the dead- all miracles demonstrating his love and teaching his disciples the miraculous power of faith. The Miracles of Jesus begins with a test of the disciples' faith as their as their boat is tossed about on the Sea of Galilee by the fierce storm. Jesus awakens to calm the storm, asking Peter and the others," why were you afraid? Where is your faith?" We learn of miracles performed by Jesus, including his healing of the palsied child, David, and raising Jairus' daughter, Sarah from the dead. Just the touch of Jesus' robe heals a woman, sick for 12 years, as he tells her, ''Your faith has made you whole." Peter and the others Disciples, out fishing, find it hard to believe that faith alone can accomplish so much. Peter sees Jesus walking on the water, seeks to join him and strides across the water's surface until his faith weakens. Jesus explains to the Disciples that if their faith is at least as great as that of the tiny mustard seed, then they can do all that he does. The people living in Galilee believe the miracle they see, but not Caiaphas, who angrily calls Jesus a false Messiah. The anger of Caiaphas, the High priest, is replaced by a beautiful song." The Miracle of Love" , as Jesus performs more miracles, blessing and healing all who come to him. The video ends in a loving expression of faith Jesus asks of his Disciples and followers as we see little David and Sarah, now healthy and happy, running and playing, their laughter filling our hearts.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lord, I Believe (2001)

Jesus uses three inspiring stories to teach the power of faith. Jesus teaches that if our faith is only the size of a tiny mustard seed, nothing shall be impossible. Lord, I Believe combines three stories to teach the magnificent power of faith. In this video, Jesus is teaching His disciples through word and deed that nothing shall be impossible for those that believe in Him. In the beginning, a Roman centurion, Flavis, is imprisoning men who could not afford to pay their taxes, while Jesus helps those in need. Later, Flavis asks his servant, Licea, about the man named Jesus. Licea tells him that Jesus is the Messiah, Lord. Suddenly Licea, falls ill and collapses. A doctor tells Flavis that his servant will not live until morning, so Flavis runs to see Jesus and bows before Him asking Jesus to help his servant, his friend. Jesus says He will come and heal him. The centurion says he is not worthy to have Jesus in his home, and if Jesus says it is so, then it will be so. Jesus speaks of the centurion's great faith and tells Flavis that his servant is healed. Flavis returns home to find his servant healed. They both rejoice and thank Jesus. This story ends with the centurion freeing those in jail. The next story is of a boy, Caleb, who is uncontrollable and possessed. A doctor says there is no cure. Joel, Caleb's father, tries paying many preachers to heal his child with no success. Joel does not believe that his son can be healed through preachers. Next a scene of Jesus teaching his disciples appears. In this scene, Jesus tells Peter that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. Then Jesus sees a grieving widow woman with her dead son. Jesus places His hands on the boy and tells him to arise. He gets up, and the woman and the boy rejoice and praise Jesus. A scene of Jesus teaching His twelve disciples follows, and Jesus gives them the power to heal, cast out demons and raise the dead. He tells them to go and do as they have seen for no money; for that which was received freely should be given freely. He reminds them that all things are possible to those that believe. Next, the story of the two blind men, Ben and Izzy, begins. It shows them making a doll for Joel's son Caleb and begging for pennies to eat. They do not receive any money, so they go to the house of Joel who gives them food. While they are eating some bread, Joel's wife, Corrine, runs home and tells of a Rabbi named Jesus that raised a boy from the dead, and that Jesus has given His powers to twelve of His disciples. Joel says he does not have any more money for preachers. Corrine tells him that these twelve do not take money. They take Caleb to see Peter, one of the twelve disciples. Peter tries twice to heal Caleb, but the boy remains uncontrollable. Joel calls them fakes and leaves. The two blind men are searching for the twelve disciples also in hopes of being cured. A man takes them to Jesus who has just entered the city. Jesus asks them if they believe He can heal. They both answer with a definite yes. According to their faith, Ben and Izzy can see and begin rejoicing and praising Jesus. Jesus tells them to leave and tell no one of this miracle. After helping others in need, they go to the house of Joel. Joel questions them about how they can see, and they say nothing. Corrine recognizes that the miracle was from Jesus. As Jesus and His disciples were leaving town, Joel appears carrying Caleb and asks Jesus for help. Jesus says that all is possible for those that believe. Joel asks the Lord to help him in his unbelief. Jesus commands the evil spirits out of the boy and he is healed. Joel rejoices and thanks Jesus.


Lazarus Lives (2000)

The story opens in a cave - a Leper colony. One of its members, Simon, has a daughter, Sarah, who is also afflicted and gravely ill. Simon is a friend of Lazarus and was his previous business partner before he took ill. Meanwhile, Lazarus and his sister, Mary, prepare care packages for Simon and the others at the Leper colony. Mary has made a special doll for Sarah. They go to visit the Leper colony to deliver the care packages, including the doll. When they arrive, they receive the news that Sarah has died from her leprosy. Stricken with grief, Lazarus and Mary return to their home. Lazarus then goes to town and delivers letters from the Lepers to their families and friends who are not afflicted. While in town, Lazarus witnesses Jesus healing a sick woman. Moved by the experience, Lazarus rushes home to tell his two sisters. He gathers his belongings and goes to his friend, Simon, at the Leper colony. He finds Simon and then takes him to town to see Jesus. Christ heals the afflicted Simon of his leprosy. In thanksgiving and appreciation, Mary invites Jesus back to their home for dinner and rest. When Jesus leaves, he asks if He may return and visit some day. On one trip to Lazarus's house, Jesus visits with Mary and Martha as Lazarus is in Jerusalem with Simon. Mary kneels at Jesus' feet to listen to His words while Martha serves. Jesus encourages Martha to join them and partake of what is more important fellowship and a lesson about God's glory through victory over death. In Jerusalem, Lazarus takes ill and Simon brings him home to his sisters. Martha beckons Simon to go and bring Jesus back. The story cuts to a scene where Jesus and some of His disciples are met on the streets by some skeptics. They inquire whether or not He is truly God's son. They want Him to prove it. Jesus responds by sharing the story of Jonah who lay three days in the belly of a whale and then was set free. The disciples are confused about the story of Jonah and ask Jesus to explain further. He foretells of His own crucifixion, death, and resurrection on the third day. Peter challenges Jesus -- not understanding the necessity of Jesus' own death and resurrection for the salvation of mankind. Jesus' power over death is the ultimate glory to God. Simon finds Jesus and the disciples and beckons Jesus to come to His friend, Lazarus, who is gravely ill. Jesus explains that Lazarus is already dead but goes to him in order to show the disciples and the others of His power over death. When Jesus arrives, Martha explains that Lazarus has been dead for four days. He instructs Martha to get Mary and come to Lazarus' tomb. When they arrive at the tomb, He directs that the stone should be removed from the tomb much to the astonishment of Lazarus' sisters and His own disciples. As the stone is removed, Jesus calls out "Lazarus come forth." Jesus explains that He has done this so that all may truly believe that He, the son of God, has power over death.


John the Baptist (1990)

John the Baptist, born to an elderly couple in answer to their prayers and a promise from God, grows up to be a prophet, preaching of the coming of the messiah. He fulfills Biblical prophecy by recognizing Jesus as the promised Savior and baptizing Him going before the Lord. The moving story of John the Baptist begins as Elizabeth, a virtuous older woman who longs for a child, delights in watching a young boy playing outside her window. Her husband Zacharias, chosen to offer incense to God at the temple, is visited there by the Angel Gabriel who tells him that his wife is to bear a son. Zacharias can't believe this miracle but the angels assures him," All things are possible with the Lord." Because of his disbelief, Zacharias suddenly falls deaf and mute, unable to tell his family and neighbors what happened to him. When Elizabeth's son is born and family members ask his name, she answers " John " a name they refuse to accept since none among them share it. The family asks Zacharias his son's name and as he writes "John" on a tablet, his hearing and speech are restored, and he shares with them prophecy of the role his son is to play. John grows up to be strong in both body and spirit, living a humble life on the banks of the River Jordan. He preaches of the imminent coming of a savior, and baptizes people in the river in the name of the messiah, preparing the way for Jesus. All of this proves disturbing to the Pharisees and their leader, Caiaphas, who tries to convince King Herod*. The King is reluctant but not his wife, Herodias. Even when Pharisee spies question John as he preaches of the repentance, he does not temper his word, calling Herod a sinner for taking his brother's wife. This accusation drives Herodias to demand John's capture and death but before this happens, Jesus approaches the place where John is preaching. "Behold, the lamb of God", John cries out, recognizing the savior about whom he has been preaching. Jesus asks John to Baptize him and when that happens, the heavens open and the Holy Spirit appears in the form of a dove. Even though his life is in danger from Herodias and Herod, John refuses to flee, declaring," My work is done".


Jesus, the Son of God (1995)

Jesus, the Son of God begins with Jesus, Mary and Joseph traveling to Jerusalem for the Passover in 13 A.D. Young Jesus, age twelve, walks behind His parents carrying a lamb. Jesus is to present the lamb to the priest as a sacrifice for sins. Once inside the busy, noisy city full of trading and bartering, Jesus and His family sell and buy the things they need before taking the lamb to the priest. Jesus presents the lamb to the priest, and the priest tests Him by asking some questions about the law. Jesus' answers are correct and the priest congratulates Him. Later, the family leaves Jerusalem to travel home only to find that Jesus is missing. Joseph and Mary return to the city after three days of searching and find Jesus talking with priests outside the temple. Jesus is confused that his parents are worried because He thought they would know He was about His Father's business. Jesus returns home with Mary and Joseph and grows into a caring young man trained in the art of carpentry. Joseph's death is shown as Jesus grows into an adult. Sadly Mary says goodbye to Jesus, and He walks into the wilderness. Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist. A white dove is shown flying above and the voice of God is heard saying, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." Jesus is then led into the wilderness by the Spirit where He seeks wisdom from the Lord by fasting. While in the wilderness for 40 days, Jesus is tempted three times by Satan. Jesus rebukes Satan the final time by saying, "Thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God." Satan leaves as Jesus is worshiping His Father. A light from heaven descends upon Jesus. Angels come to comfort, feed and clothe Him. Jesus then returns to Galilee with the power of the Spirit.


He Is Risen (1988)

He is Risen is the story of the greatest miracle of all, the resurrection of Jesus. Sorrow and despair at the Lord's crucifixion become complete joy and love as the disciples behold their resurrected Master three days later. The events of the real story of Easter teach of the atonement and resurrection, providing hope to Christians around the world. A young boy, Daniel, witnesses the death of Jesus by crucifixion on Calvary where a Roman Centurion confirms, "Truly this man was the son of God." Storms rage and an earthquake shakes the land at Jesus' death. Daniel hurries back to the Disciples, who are hiding from Roman soldiers, with the news of Jesus' death. Meanwhile, Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus prepare Jesus' body, bury it in a tomb cut into a hillside and cover the entrance with a huge stone. Caiaphas, the Pharisee high priest, visits Pontius Pilate, counseling Pilate to seal the tomb since Jesus' followers said He would rise from death on the third day. Pilate agrees and posts guards, but angels appear and the tomb splits open in a glorious burst of light. Jesus first appears to Mary Magdalene when she visits the empty tomb. ThenJesus appears to the Disciples. He entrusts Simon Peter to take care of His"lambs and sheep", and preaches for 40 days, asking His followers to teach Hiswords to all peoples, everywhere. His mission on earth completed, Jesus ascends into heaven in a stirring climax to the video, telling His followers He will come again. "Come quickly, Lord Jesus," says the boy Daniel. "I'll always be watching for You."


Forgive Us Our Debts (1991)

Through examples and parables, Jesus leads Peter to learn the power of forgiveness and how to control his anger at those who do him wrong. Through Peter's experience, we learn the lesson of forgiveness. As Peter looks over the day's excellent catch of fish, two demanding tax collectors come up to his boat. Mocking Peter's faith in Christ, they tell Peter they will return the next day to collect their tax for the temple. Jesus tells the angry Peter to forgive the tax collectors and to go to the sea and cast in his line. There, as Jesus foretold, Peter catches a fish. In the mouth of the fish is the money to pay the tax. But Peter is still angry and pays the tax with bitterness in his heart. Peter asks Jesus,"How many times do I forgive a man who has done me wrong?" Jesus tells Peter that he must forgive everyone not just once, or seven times, but "seven times seventy times." Jesus relates the parable of the foolish and proud Hazor who owes a large debt to the King. Unable to pay the debt, the man begs the King's forgiveness. The merciful King forgives Hazor of the debt. Leaving the palace, Hazor meets Micah, a poor man who owes him money. Hazor insists Micah pay him immediately. "Just a little more time," Micah pleads. Hazor, although forgiven by the King, angrily refuses to forgive in his own right and sends Micah to prison. When the King finds out about Hazor's hard-hearted act, he orders Micah released and arrests Hazor in his place. The King tells Hazor, "I would love to show you mercy, but how can I forgive you, when you refuse to forgive others?" Peter interprets the parable to Jesus, explaining that the wise King represents God, and His forgiveness is there for all of us, if we can accept it and freely forgive others. Peter forgives the dumb-founded tax collectors. Peter is now able to spread this new message of forgiveness to others, even to the tax collectors themselves.


Built Upon the Rock (2004)

Built Upon the Rock is a story of two brothers and how an inheritance teaches them about their own foundation and eternal life. In the beginning of the video, Gideon is dying and has asked that his two sons, Thomas and Sahara work together overseeing his vineyards after he is gone. When Gideon dies, Sahara takes control of the vineyards and begins to sell grapes that are not yet ripe to loyal customers. Thomas is greatly disturbed and seeks out a lawyer named Josiah to help him regain his part of his inheritance. Josiah has left law practice to follow Jesus. He encourages Thomas to listen to the words of Jesus to find the answers to his problems. Jesus is giving his sermon on the mount and shares the beatitudes, or the actions, attitudes and blessings true believers should experience. He tells the people they need to go beyond just believing and act upon their faith. Jesus uses the parable of the wise man who built his house upon a rock. This man took his time and built a strong foundation for his house. When the rains came down, the man and his family remained safe. The foolish man was in a hurry and built his house upon the sand. When the rains came down, his house washed away. As Thomas listens to the words of Jesus, Josiah urges him to build his life on love, patience, and forgiveness, and all will be well. Thomas returns to ask forgiveness for speaking out in anger against his brother. When Thomas talks with Sahara about running the vineyards as his father would have wished, Sahara attacks him and throws him off the land. Thomas begins to doubt that Jesus' way of loving your enemies is right for him. Josiah reminds Thomas that Jesus never promised his enemies would love him in return. Thomas returns to Jesus to ask him to help him resolve the inheritance problem with his brother. Jesus warns Thomas about greed and envy. He tells him the value of a man's life has little to do with the things he owns on earth. To teach this lesson, Jesus tells another parable of the rich man who had an abundant harvest. This man had a choice in giving his extra crop to the poor or to build bigger barns to hold his extra wealth. The man decides to build bigger barns so he will have plenty of money for years to come. God visited the man that very night and told him he had been foolish and his life was over. The things he had gained on earth were worth nothing to his soul. A bit confused, Thomas thinks about what Jesus is trying to teach him. After talking with Josiah, he realizes he has been foolish like the rich man. Thomas visits Sarah again to tell him he no longer wants his inheritance. Sahara begins to gloat over his wealth. As he raises a glass to his lips, he has a heart attack and dies. The video ends with Thomas sitting at the feet of Jesus building salvation upon a rock.


Bread from Heaven (1996)

Bread from Heaven is an account of how Jesus has compassion for the multitudes that have come to hear Him minister. The story begins with a young street urchin named Jonas who is begging for each bit of food he can get. After an incident of trickery, he takes bread from the local bakers, Zeke and Jethro. He refuses to share his bread with an old man who is weak and clearly in need of nourishment. Later Jonas finds himself listening to the words of Jesus on the mountain. He is inspired by His message. When Jesus asks for food to feed the people, Jonas unselfishly offers the five loaves and two fishes. After Jesus prays over the food, the disciples feed the people. Zeke and Jethro are amazed at the miracle of feeding the masses and come up with a plan to make Jesus king. They want Jesus to perform miracles so they will no longer have to work. When Jesus tells them He is the Bread of Life, the bakers think He is joking and return to their ovens. Jesus goes to pray and soon sees that His disciples are caught in a storm. As the disciples fear for their lives, Jesus calms the waters by walking upon them. Peter proclaims his faith in Jesus as the Son of the living God. Jonas' faith has given him a new compassion, and he shares bread with the bullies in the street. In the end, Jonas returns to the old man who was denied the bread. He shares his bread and tells him of the man he met named Jesus, who is the Bread of Life.