The life and times of Jesus will come alive Sunday as the First United Methodist Church of Killeen presents “Jerusalem at the time of Christ.”

Church members and volunteers dressed in period clothes on Thursday rehearsed for the dramatic presentation in a replica of ancient Jerusalem built in Methodist Park. The set includes a Jewish home, a replica of the temple where Jesus was laid to rest and a real blacksmith.

Assistant Pastor David McMinn said their goal is to present a realistic reenactment so people can connect to the true meaning of Easter. The audience will not just watch the production but also have the opportunity to participate.

“(We) want to take them through the process of (Jesus’) crucifixion and resurrection so that people can almost feel that journey through it all,” he said. “We have a passion presentation … and we invite the audience to play a role as part of the crowd.”

Cast members said they hope the production enriches the lives of the audience, but they, too, have benefited from the experience. Many found their own relationships with God strengthened as they prepared for the production.

“I think actually getting to experience being Jesus in his footsteps is what I will take away from this,” said Jeff Ripper, 22, of Killeen.

Becky Miller, 53, who plays the Virgin Mary, enjoys acting but has played comedic roles in the past. In this, her first dramatic role, she often gets emotional.

“I feel pain when I go through my lines,” she said.

“Jerusalem at the time of Christ” is from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Methodist Park, adjacent to First Methodist Church of Killeen, 3501 E. Elms Road.

Admission is free, but canned food donations will be accepted for the Killeen food bank.

In the event of rain, the presentation will be canceled.

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