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"He Is Risen" is the Easter volume of the Animated Stories from the New Testament.

Plot[]

The video begins when Jesus (not to mention two thieves) are crucified on Calvary Hill. Kneeling in front of the cross are His mother, Mary, the Apostle John, and Mary Magdalene. Mary (Jesus' mother) weeps over losing her son, as does the boy named Daniel. They start leaving, and the Roman centurion (the man in charge of about 100 soldiers) realizes that undoubtedly, Jesus was innocent. Then an earthquake happens, breaking buildings, tearing the curtain in the temple (not to mention breaking the rod that holds it up), causing a wagon with apples to turn over while still being driven by a man, causing a baby in his/her mother's arms to cry, sheep to bleat, flags to tear down, money to pour out from a bag, out of a box, off a table that breaks, and a boulder to fall from a mountain. The centurion declares that the man was the Son of God.

Andrew, another Apostle, looks out the window, while his brother and fellow Apostle, Peter, shamefully sits down in front of a post, hiding his face in his lap, Simon (another one) paces, and James (another one, and John's brother) is sitting down at a table. James tells Andrew to come away from the window so as not to be seen. Peter asks James why Andrew should, and why it should matter if they live or die, as earlier, he had denied Jesus three times. Simon says they have to fight, but James reminds him they must never fight. After a knock, Daniel has come home. It is first said that he is Andrew's son when he says that he saw Jesus die, and Andrew hugs him. Peter grieves over Jesus having the power to save Himself, but not doing so. Daniel tells his father that Jesus looked glad, like Andrew does when all the nets are in, when He died, and that it is time (for Jesus) to go home (to Heaven, that is). Andrew believes that, saying His work was finished.

Meanwhile, Procurator Pontius Pilate is washing his own hands, and Sanhedrin member, Joseph of Arimathea, asks for Jesus' body. Pilate demands (interrogatively) that Joseph wait until Jesus is dead. Joseph says He is, but Pilate doesn't believe that, so he sends for the centurion to question this. The centurion reveals that they made sure Jesus was dead before leaving the hill. Pilate asks Joseph why he wants Jesus' body. Joseph says he was His friend. At first Pilate laughs, but remembers that he'd meet one of Jesus' friends after His death, and approves, but doesn't let him leave without saying (at least in some screenings) that he (Pilate) would have saved Jesus if he could. The centurion mentions that they killed an innocent man. Pilate asks if they don't think he knows that (in some screenings, he says it's too late for that now), and that he did it to keep the peace.

After taking Jesus' body off the cross, a friend of Joseph's, Nicodemus, brings over spices to cover Jesus. They wrap the body in a tomb and roll a boulder in front of the tomb, and then leave to start the Sabbath.

Meanwhile, the high Priest and Sadducee Caiaphas arrives to call out Pilate for this giveaway, believing Jesus was a blasphemer. Pilate does not take kindly to him raising his voice to him. Caiaphas expresses worry (or was it for real?) over welfare of Rome, but Pilate stops him and says to just tell him what he wants. Caiaphas says to post a guard at the tomb and keep any theft of the body from ever happening until day 3 has passed. Pilate sends soldiers, but angrily tells Caiaphas the former never wants to hear the latter mention Jesus of Nazareth again.

The centurion tells the two guards who have gone with him to spend the whole night watching and staying awake, and promises to send in their replacements at dawn. One of the guards personally complains over no sleep after a whole day of watching, but the other assures him it's not like they are working, only guarding a dead man, so they kind of do fall asleep.

Meanwhile, Mary Magdalene and two women named Mary and Martha bring over bread and cheese to the eleven Disciples and Daniel. Thomas asks if there were any soldiers looking for them. Mary Magdalene says there were soldiers, but she hadn't stopped to ask if they were looking for anyone. Thomas runs to find his twin brother, fearing he (the brother) could be arrested in his place. Mary (Martha's sister) has bought oil to anoint Jesus's body, but the Apostles say they can't go near Him due to the presence of soldiers. Mary Magdalene says they're going to the tomb in or out of the presence of soldiers. Simon, holding up a dagger, decides to violently show the soldiers his thoughts of them, but Martha puts a loaf of bread through the dagger, telling him to just eat. Her sister Mary says that Jesus' real disciples are not killers. Simon says he knows, but Peter asks if they're just a bunch of frightened men. Daniel asks Andrew why the latter can't still tell people about Jesus. James doubts anyone would believe in Him due to His death, but Martha says she would and shames him (if he doesn't). As the sisters leave, and before Mary Magdalene does, she tells the disciples (and Daniel) that Jesus is watching and that they should at least try to make Him proud of them. John believes that, and personally, so does Peter, but the latter has had enough of being cooped up. He would rather die trying to teach His words. So three of the disciples mention some of the words Jesus once taught on a mountain. Matthew says that His words must never be forgotten. James agrees to that.

One morning, one of the soldiers is asleep, while the other is sharpening his dagger, but the ground shakes, the sign and nail fall off the stone, and two angels appear. One of them (resembling Gabriel) stretches forth his hand to the soldiers, and they both collapse. Then the angels cause the stone to roll away and open the tomb.

The three women arrive at the tomb and find it open and empty, much to their alarm. But one of the angels tells them He is not around because He has risen. One of the women asks how that can be. The same angel reminds them that Jesus had previously said he'd be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and on the third day, rise again, and then sends them to tell the others what they had seen and heard. After they leave (the women and angels, both), the soldiers get shocked when they see the body is no longer there. One of the soldiers, not sure Pilate will believe it, decides maybe talking to Caiaphas first will keep them both out of trouble, in exchange for not telling anyone what had happened that morning.

The women speak of it, but when Martha refers to the angels as "the men there," John runs to the tomb thinking that some men have stolen Jesus' body, and then Peter and Mary Magdalene run behind him. Daniel expects a chance that it may be true that Jesus is alive. He asks his father if it is true. Andrew says they all wish He were alive, but James, speaking for the entire 11, refuses to let themselves believe silly rumors. Martha says it's true despite their beliefs.

Peter and John grieve that the supposed thieves couldn't even let Jesus' body rest in peace, and that they hate Him so much even after death. They leave, but Mary Magdalene stays behind and starts crying. Jesus then appears in just a white robe, asking Mary why she is weeping and whom she is looking for. Mary does not immediately recognize him as Jesus, but as a possible taker of His body, and to please tell her where he laid Him. Jesus says her first name and walks closer. Then Mary recognizes him and starts to hug him, but He tells her not to touch Him because He hasn't ascended to His Father yet, but to go to His brethren and say that he is now ascending unto "[His] Father and [their] Father, [His] God, and [their] God."

She tells them, but they do not believe her. John asks her why Jesus would show Himself to her, but not to hem. Mary supposes He took pity on her because she was crying, but because Martha and the other Mary had tried all day in vain to persuade the Disciples of the resurrection, Martha says they'll never believe her (Magdalene) either. Peter says they do not think the women are lying. Another Disciple says they are just imagining. Bartholomew (another Disciple) wishes he could believe the women, but then, Jesus appears to all ten of the Disciples, Daniel, and the women (including Mary Magdalene again). He wishes peace with them, tells them to look at His hands and feet, touch him, and see, for a Spirit has no flesh or bones like they see He has. They do so.

Meanwhile, Caiaphas mocks one of the guards for saying that "angels" rolled the stone away, thinking he'd been bribed. One of them denies that anyone had bribed him. "Not yet," says the other. Caiaphas demands to know how much money will make them tell the truth that they came and stole the body. The same guard says that nothing had been stolen, but they other soldier admits they'd fallen asleep when the body disappeared. Caiaphas pays them money, in hopes that it is enough to help them remember that story, and no other. That soldier doesn't know, but says that Pilate will get angry with them for sleeping on duty. Snarling, Caiaphas promises he will protect them from Pilate. The soldiers leave, one saying it was nice doing business with him. Caiaphas says that now they are paying even more money to keep Jesus dead than they paid to have Him dead (30 pieces of silver at that time), and that it is (surely) finished.

Back to the Disciples, one week from leaving, Thomas thinks that the other ten had gone insane, and doesn't believe that Jesus came back from the dead. John tries to persuade him, but Thomas is still doubtful until he sees for himself, but an expression on John's face at the following sight gets him looking back. Jesus has appeared again. Jesus wishes peace with Thomas, tells him to see His hands and feet, touch Him, and not to doubt anymore, but to believe. This is when Thomas believes that the resurrection is true. Jesus says that blessed are those who believe without having seen Him first.

Meanwhile, the centurion tells Pilate about Jesus' reappearance to His Apostles and the women. Pilate tells him to arrest them all so they won't tell all those "lies." The centurion says they can't, as the Apostles and women had escaped into Galilee. Pilate says that, "If [the centurion's] soldiers had done their duty..." but the centurion interrupts saying they did do it, but that all their Roman legions couldn't have held Jesus. Pilate denies having ordered the killing of the Son of God.

Meanwhile, after a whole night of fishing for nothing, the Disciples get tired. Daniel reports to his father that there is a man watching them from shore. The man asks them if they have caught anything. Andrew calls out that they caught nothing. The man on shore says to cast their nets on the right side of the ship, and they will make a catch. Peter doesn't believe it will work, since they had done so about an hour ago. John, expecting that it will work this time, tells Peter it is worth a try. So they all cast their nets on that side, and they pull, but then the nets get really heavy from an enormous school of fish in the net at once, much to their excitement. Peter finds out that the man was really Jesus, much to such excitement that he jumps off the boat and swims to shore while the rest sail.

That night, at a fire cooking some of the fish, Jesus asks Peter if he loves him (the first time, "more than these [do]."). All three times, Peter says Jesus knows that he (Peter) loves Him (Jesus). Jesus respectively tells him to feed his lambs (the first time) and his sheep (the last two).

Then, as narrated by Don Bishop, the Apostles go back to Jerusalem and are taught by Jesus for forty days, and that it was time for Him to leave them. But before He ascends, Jesus tells the Apostles to go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and teach them to observe everything that He has commanded them, and promises He is always with them, even to the end of time.

The people watch him, but are distracted by the angels, one of whom asks them why they are standing and gazing into Heaven. They assure them that the same Jesus will come again in the same way they saw Him go. Daniel, praying, tells Jesus to come quickly, as the former will always be watching for Him.

Song[]

"He Gave His Life for Me" - as sung by the composer's daughter, Julie de Azevedo.

Trivia[]

  • Greg Snow and the late Lisa Paulette (actually Gregory Snegoff and Lisa Michelson), who voiced Caiaphas and Daniel, respectively, were married in real life.
    • They both appeared in another Animated Stories from the New Testament video: "The Miracles of Jesus." Snow/Snegoff voiced Caiaphas again, as he usually does in these portrayals, while in that video, Paulette/Michelson voiced another boy whose name, coincidentally, also starts with the same two letters, and is the name of another Old Testament protagonist: David.
    • And then, they also took part in the Animated Hero Classics story "Christopher Columbus," with Snow/Snegoff as Pinzon and, once again, Paulette/Michelson as a boy (the page boy named Rodrigo).
    • They also voiced father and (older) daughter in the Streamline/Troma/Fox-distributed English dub of Studio Ghibli's My Neighbor Totoro, as Professor Kusakabe (Daddy) and Satsuki.
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