For the past 20 years, East Texans have joined together to present a dramatic retelling of the final days of the life of Christ.

This year more than 50 people representing 16 churches are involved in the East Texas Regional Production of The Passion of Christ.

The first showing took place Friday with additional showings set for 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting, at the Lake Palestine United Methodist Church's amphitheater, 2889 Farm-to-Market Road 315 S., in Chandler.

This is the 15th year for the show at the amphitheater, which seats about 600 comfortably. Guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs, though there are stone benches as well. 

The almost two-hour production starts with Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, which is celebrated as Palm Sunday, continues through his crucifixion and ends with his resurrection. 

"We always say our passion is to present the life and death and resurrection of Christ, and we hope that everyone will either be deepened in their faith or come to faith in Jesus Christ," co-producer Kenneth Cade said. 

Cade said he thinks the reality of the production is what appeals to people year after year.

"There's just a lot of good portrayal of Jesus Christ and a lot of the disciples around him," Cade said.

The production includes a couple of live musical performances and the Spruce Hill Band is scheduled to perform before the show from about 7 to 7:30 p.m. 

In the event of rain, the show will be canceled. Admission is free. Organizers do ask for guests to bring canned food to donate to food banks. 

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