Published in the April 26, 2017 issue of The Bells
“It is finished.” A crowd of students dressed in Biblical apparel cheer as Jesus’ last words on the cross are spoken, while a tearful audience of community members watch as the Gospel comes to life before their eyes.
On Wednesday April 12, UMHB students took the stage for the 78th time to perform the Easter Pageant for friends, family and local residents at 12:30, 3 and 5:30 p.m. at Luther Memorial.
This year, the Campus Activities Board broadcasted the 12:30 and 3 p.m. performances live on Facebook, so the students were able to literally perform the story of the Gospel to the whole world.
University President Randy O’Rear chose senior public relations and music major Jacob Asmussen to play the role of Jesus, and he chose senior cellular biology major Sophie Rivera to portray Mary. Senior Christian studies major Maddie Rarick directed this year’s pageant.
Asmussen chose those who portrayed his disciples, and he took careful consideration to pick a diverse group of men just as Jesus did.
“I wanted guys who I really thought could benefit from the experience and really get something out of it. So I got a mix of friends and people I didn’t know as well, so it ended up being a patchwork of guys that really became a brotherhood.”
Rarick and her assistant directors chose who portrayed the rest of the named roles such as Jarius and his wife, the bride and groom, Barabas, Pilate, and others.
The crowd consisted of any student who was interested in being a part of Easter Pageant.
Asmussen said that during this time he learned who he was in Christ.
“It was a lot of growth in my own personal life with my relationship with Jesus and what I believe and really becoming who He’s created me to be,” he said.
Senior business management major Caleb Latson, who portrayed the disciple Peter, enjoyed the time leading up to the Easter Pageant and working with Asmussen.
“Jacob’s one of my closet friends , and that made it super easy to just relax and have fun during practice. At first it took some time for all the disciples to get comfortable around each other, but it didn’t take too long before we were all really good friends.”
Asmussen said the actual day of the performance was exhausting, but he enjoyed it.
“Each show had a different feel to it; something I learned from it. I was really thinking a lot that day about who Jesus is and who He is to me, and it was a very powerful day to see how people were impacted.”
Latson said that he was nervous on the day of the performance but the nerves melted away when the pageant began.
“After the first show was over, the next two were really fun and relaxing. It was fun to spend the day hanging out with the disciples in between shows because it was the last day we would all be together at the same time.”
Asmussen said that being able to interact with the community members after the performance was one of his favorite parts.
“To get to meet and talk with the children was a lot of fun, and then to see all different kinds of people there — older and younger, all walks of life — was really impactful.”