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JEM-PRECIOUS STONES
(Issue #40 -- Power in the Blood -- April 2006)


We love Easter at our house. There are always eggs, bunnies, and baskets at this time of year – but we also make sure that our kids know what we are really celebrating! There’s nothing wrong with fun, but, it’s the blood that makes Easter, or Passover a real holy-day. Every year we try to find a chocolate cross to go into the basket to represent Jesus’ death. Lambs are very important to us as well. Jesus was (and IS) the spotless lamb who came to take away the sins of the world! Our kids find one egg in their basket’s every year with 30 pieces of “silver” in it – the price of betrayal, and they also find another egg with nothing in it -- of course, representing the best part of Easter – that Jesus rose again as the first-fruits of all those who will be raised and be with Him forever!

Join us as we celebrate Jesus, The Lamb of God. His sacrifice is our redemption! His blood is our cleansing! His resurrection is our eternity! Thank You, Jesus!

In His Service,
Matt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACROSTIC FOR APRIL
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
BIRTHDAY GREETING
INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
WORD IN ACTION
POWER IN THE BLOOD
THINK ABOUT IT!
TESTIMONY TIME
CHALLENGE OF THE MONTH
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
QUICK TIP OF THE MONTH
CRAFT OF THE MONTH
SKIPPING STONES
BIBLE QUIZ
CHECK IT OUT!
JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH



ACROSTIC FOR APRIL
By: Denise Imbody

Awesome Savior how is it that You would
Pour out Your blood for the
Redemption of our souls?
In Your death and resurrection we have
Life eternal--and no words could ever express our gratitude!



WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Do you have an opinion or thought that you'd like to share with JEM-Precious Stones readers? Well, here is your chance...if you'd just like to comment on the E-zine or if you have something on your mind about current events that you'd like to share...as long as they are clean and family oriented and NOT against God and His Word...please feel free to share them with us, and we'll use them if we can.

Comment Submitted by: Gwen Tweedy

Because Easter is drawing near, I seem to always pause at this time and at other times of the year too, to reflect upon how Jesus died for us. I cannot imagine how it must have been not truly, that is, because I have not seen pictures of it nor movies portraying this event. But I can hear and see in my mind how it was, and how it must have been. The Bible says that through the Blood is the one and only way we can come to the Father, without the Blood and the cross, that some churches have done away with because they are too graphic and gory. Without these, though, we would be lost, and I thank God every day for that marvelous cross and the Blood, that cleansing tide, that flows still to save me and all whosoever will choose and come to Jesus.

Thank you Jesus! I love you.

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BIRTHDAY GREETING

What a month to be born! Spring is springing; Passover and Easter are in full bloom. New life abounds! May Jesus renew your life as you celebrate with Him! May He grant you this wonderful year, and many more to come!

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INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT
By: Denise Imbody

Holy Father
Alpha
Prince of Peace
Precious One
Yashua

Redeemer
El Shaddai
Savior
Unchanging One
Rabbi
Resurrected King
Everlasting
Christ
True God
Immanuel
Omega
Name above all names

Deity
Anointed One
Yhwh

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WORD IN ACTION
By: Kristina

I volunteer with a prayer group that focuses mostly on teens, and I find that the first question they have for me is the one with the simplest answer: Does God listen when I pray? Yes, I tell them, God does listen when you pray. He cares for your burdens, and longs for you to share them with Him. Then I point them to the verses in His word. This month, I would like to share a few of those verses with you.

Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. - Isaiah 65:24

There is such comfort in those words, isn't there? When you call, He will answer! He is there for you, listening to your prayers and your pleading. Have any other words ever sounded so wonderful?

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. - John 15:7

If we remain in Jesus, and His words are tucked safely away in our hearts, we have the confidence that what we ask will be given. When we are this near to the Lord, our will is melting into His will. What we ask for He has already laid on our hearts, and because of this promise it will be given.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. - Matthew 6:6

The Lord does not want us to boast about our prayers, flashing what great Christians we are for the rest of the world to see. He wants us to be humble servants, praying in our rooms, where there is only us and the God of the universe. There is no one to show off for, there is no reason to be fake. And as the last part of the verse says, the Lord will reward us when we follow His lead, His will, His word, because He sees what is done in secret. He will see the true motivation of our hearts.

Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. - Psalm 55:17

There is no such thing as too much prayer. If our every word and every thought were prayers, it would still never be too much. Whether we call out to Him once in our lives, or every evening, morning and noon, He hears our voices, hears our cries. God is ever full of patience and mercy. When His children cry, He hears us.

Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. - Isa 65:24

I pray that you would find comfort in these verses that were written for you, His child whom He loves and cares for. These are His words and His promise: when you pray, He hears. Always remember that the Lord of the universe wants to know your heart and hurts, your words both spoken and unspoken. He is there for you.

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POWER IN THE BLOOD
By: Matthew Imbody

In The Beginning:

God gave man everything – except one tree. Concerning that one tree, God said no. Man, however, wasn't satisfied with everything. He wanted that one thing he couldn't have; and, so, because of his rebellion, he was driven away from everything, and got nothing – except a set of clothes God made him. These clothes resulted in the first blood spilt in Human history. These clothes were a direct result of man's sin. These clothes were the first sin sacrifice. These clothes were made to cover up man's shame – but these clothes weren't enough to make things right...

There's Power in the Blood!

Passover:

Every first born child in the land of Egypt was destined to die! There was only one way to save the life of your eldest child: Sacrifice a lamb, and smear his blood on the top and sides of the doorway of the house you were spending the night in. So many mothers cried that night! So many fathers lost their pride and joy – but those under the blood were safe. They were not visited by the angel of death that night. Passover is a celebration of freedom from Egypt – but what really held man's soul, his sin, still wasn't dealt with...

There's Power in the Blood!

The Law:

So much blood! So much death! So much sacrifice! Animal blood must have flowed like rivers from the tabernacle and the temple. God commanded sacrifice for the sins of man, and man provided all He asked: but all this blood could never wash a man clean. This blood could only curb God's anger and judgement because it pointed to the only hope – the only Salvation for man. With every sheep, goat, ram, lamb, bird, bull, and cow – with every sacrifice made for sin by the spilling of blood, God looked forward to the ultimate sacrifice. For the blood of these animals was not what God truly required to wash man clean...

There's Power in the Blood!

Throughout history, God has shown us that a blood sacrifice is needed to cover sin – but there was never a lamb perfect enough; spotless and blameless... Until finally one Passover, one innocent man falsely accused, was brought to the place of the skull. He had done no wrong. He was sinless – and, therefore, the perfect sacrifice. John the Baptist called Him the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world.

On that Passover, Jesus became our sin sacrifice. On that cross He took our burden upon Himself! The blood that flowed from His body that day was no mere lambs blood – it was the blood of God! It cleanses us from sin, saves our lives, gives us eternity with Him, and covers our shame. This sacrifice was unlike any other in history. No other had "stuck." No other was enough. No other had any real power! But this blood, The blood of Jesus, was what God had always seen . Every sacrifice in history that He accepted was only accepted because it pointed to The Christ. From the first shed blood in Eden, to the first Passover lamb, to the endless parade of death before the Ark of God... One moment in time made everything right...

Hebrews 10 (NIV)

1. The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming--not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.
2. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.
3. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins,
4. because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me;
6. with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.
7. Then I said, `Here I am--it is written about me in the scroll-- I have come to do your will, O God.'"
8. First he said, "Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them" (although the law required them to be made).
9. Then he said, "Here I am, I have come to do your will." He sets aside the first to establish the second.
10. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
12. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.
13. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool,
14. because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
15. The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16. "This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds."
17. Then he adds: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more."
18. And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.

There's Power in the Blood!

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THINK ABOUT IT!

Only at the cross of Christ does man see fully what it is that separates him from God; yet it is here alone that he perceives that he is no longer separated from God. Nowehere else does the inviolable holiness of God, the impossibility of overlooking the guilt of man stand out more plainly; but nowhere else does the limitless mercy of God, which utterly transcends all human standards, stand out more clearly and plainly.
-- Emil Brunner

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TESTIMONY TIME

My Testimony: By Jan Dobens

I want to tell you about my best friend. He has been my friend since 1985. Without him, I would of never made it to this day present.

My life has been turned upside down in ways I never imagined. On January 2, 2006, my husband of 18 years walked out of my life to be with another women. I cannot ever convey to you what this does to a person's self esteem, confidence, and self worth. Then February 1, 2006, my husband tells me I must leave the house because he is going to voluntarily foreclose on it. Another blow to my already broken heart because this was my dream house that we worked hard to have. I myself did not have the finances to maintain our home that I loved so much.

I was in a position in my company that was in the field that I most enjoyed but because of the things going on in my life, I could not concentrate on my work. April 7, 2006, my boss gives me a horrible evaluation. Because of such a poor report on my performance, I no longer had my job.

I tell you that in all of this, I could not of hung on by myself. I found no reason to live. What I did was cry harder and harder and drew closer to my friend. He has not let me down, he has made me stronger. At night, he fills me with peace and wraps his arms around me so I feel safe. During the day he reminds me of my worth because he lives in my heart. When I cannot stand any more, he carries me. His love for me was so strong that he even gave his life up so I could have a better life some day.

His name is Jesus and he can be your best friend too. .

***If you would like to share your testimony in an upcoming issue of JEM Precious Stones, please feel free to send it to Precious_Stones@JEMMinistries.org. If we use it, you will get full credit, but please know that due to the number of contributions, and other concerns, we may not be able to use all submissions.***



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CHALLENGE OF THE MONTH

We really should be getting into God’s word, as much as we possibly can. We would like to encourage you with a challenge each month, to memorize a portion of Scripture. So, we will provide a passage, and hope that you will take the time to study it daily. If you are already doing this on your own, that is great--we just thought with prayer, and making it a bit easier for some folks, that we could help those who may not be doing this yet. All passages will be from the King James Version of the Bible. We do not mind other versions, and you can study it in whichever version you like. We have chosen KJV, because it is public domain. We pray that you will hide His word in your heart.

Revelation 1
5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Joy Taylor

My Mother is from England, and she used to always make this for holidays. Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. There was rarely ever any left. It is SO PRETTY in a glass punch bowl.

English Trifle

2 (8 or 9 inch) cakes layers, baked and cooled OR
1 Angel food cake (baked and cooled)
2 pkgs. Jell-o (2 diff. flavors , but I try to use ones with a color that are in "season"). ie: Christmas I use green (lime) and Red (strawberry or cherry)
1 package instant vanilla pudding
2 large bananas, sliced
1 bowl Cool Whip (can use strawberry cool whip if you want)

Tear cake up into bite sized pieces and place in bottom of LARGE, clear punch bowl. Mix up first flavor of jell-o (the quick set method) and pour over cake. Place in fridge and let jell-o set completely. While jell-o is setting, mix up the pudding. When jell-o is set, layer more cake pieces on top of jell-o. Layer pudding on top of cake. Add layer of sliced bananas on top of pudding. Place last layer of cake on top of bananas. Add second flavor of jell-o and place back in fridge to set. When set, put layer of cool whip for the top. You may place more bananas on top or another fruit of your choice.

Do you have an original recipe that you would like to share? Click here to submit it!

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QUICK TIP OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Don't throw away those wrappers from sticks of margarine or butter. Store in the fridge in a zipper bag. When you need to grease a pan, grab one of those wrappers and use it. There is usually just enough butter or margarine left on the wrapper to grease a pan or dish.

Do you have an original Quick Tip that you would like to share? Click here to submit it!

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CRAFT OF THE MONTH
Submitted by: Denise Imbody

Colorful Witnessing Key Chain

Materials Needed:
Key Ring
String--any kind you prefer
Beads--also any type you prefer

You'll need 1 of each in the following colors--except for green--you'll need 2

Purple
Black
Red
White
Gold or Yellow
Green

Instructions:
1. Cut a piece of string a good size length, so that you can put all your beads on, and still tie a knot (you can cut excess off later).
2. Tie one end to the key ring.
3. Slide beads on in this order...

green, purple, black, red, white, gold or yellow, and green.

4. Tie a knot at the end, and cut off the excess.
5. Either memorize the colors and their meanings (This is provided below for you), or print up little cards to go with the key chains.

There you have it..a neat little key chain that can be a tool to assist you with your witnessing about all our Lord and Savior has done!

Meaning of the colors:
Purple represents our Lord and all His righteousness.
Black represents sin.
Red represents Jesus' blood.
White represents how we are washed white as snow, by Jesus' blood.
Yellow or gold represents the streets of Heaven, and how we all will be there some day, if we believe in Jesus.
Green represents how we need to grow in the Lord

***If you have an original recipe, quick tip, or craft, that you would like to share with us, please send it in with your first and last name, and your email address to Precious_Stones@JEMMinistries.org. If we use it, you will get full credit, but please know that due to the number of contributions, and other concerns, we will not be able to use all submissions.***

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SKIPPING STONES
(A word of encouragement)
By: Gwen Tweedy

I hung an innocent man some 2000 years ago on that long ago day that we'll never forget and the trouble is I keep crucifying him today.

Let me explain why.

Beat 1:
I talk when I might not know all the facts about someone.

Beat 2:
I lose my temper over things that I could just as well be silent about.

Beat 3:
I drag Jesus name down in the dust whenever I don't love as He loves his children.

Beat 4:
I have broken every one of His commandments.

Beat 5:
I treat my days as if Jesus is not coming back.

Beat 6:
I don't speak up enough when God's name is taken in vein or someone curses I'm to afraid of offending someone.

Beat 7:
I have figured I'm better than some, and by my actions, I figure God has forgiven me but if I don't see a visible change I figure the other person just possibly can't be forgiven so therefore, I am watering down the precious Blood of Jesus as if it has no power.

Beat 8:
I don't witness enough, because if I truly knew what hell is like I would want no one to go there.

Beat 9:
I am not satisfied with what God has given me. The more I see, the more I want. Not only materially, but feeling less favored without truly weighing the circumstances before I assume I'm getting an unfair deal.

Beat 10:
Jealousy

Beat 11:
Hate

Beat 12:
I'm selfish

Beat 13:
I am full of Pride..

Beat 14:
I am full of anger.

Beat 15:
I have a root of bitterness.

Beat 16:
I don't carry my brothers and sisters enough in all times.

Beat 17:
I don't pray enough.

Beat 18:
I don't get into His word enough.

Beat 19:
I miss many opportunities to love those who are lovable and those who are not.

Beat 20:
I Receive more than I give.

Beat 21:
I expect more than I do the expected I ought to do for others.

Beat 22:
I spit upon Him by not fully trusting Him

Beat 23:
I mock Him by not leaning on His full power to do what he promises and says.

Beat 24:
I hurt others thus hurting Him.

Beat 25:
My compassion for others is weak.

Beat 26:
My mercy extends when I feel like it and not when it ought to.

Beat 27:
I want to be on easy street from suffering because I'm afraid and say I want to follow Him but don't even get to the garden.

Beat 28:
I say I would die for my Lord but rarely even live for Him.

Beat 29:
I say I'm sorry for maybe my past life styles but do I truly repent turn around and change?

Beat 30:
People can rarely see that I'm different than the world.

Beat 31:
There probably isn't enough evidence to convict me as a Christian.

Beat 32:
Loyalty? I'm not even sure I know what that is by my recent past.

Beat 33:
Have I exhibited anything Jesus exhibits as our friend?

Beat 34:
Have I turned anyone away from Jesus by my countenance and my attitudes probably certainly.

Beat 35:
I lack patience with others.

Beat 36:
I do the very same things, I tear others down for.

Beat 37:
I fail to build God's created beings up.

Beat 38:
I rarely see others, as God sees them.

Beat 39:
I forget to pray for my enemies..

And that's just the beatings! How much more do we do each and every day to place that crown of thorns upon His head and then crucify Him and hammering each and every nail into His hands and feet by fear, doubt, calling Him a liar in the ways we live each and every day by the things we leave undone for Kingdom work

Woe! is me for I am undone I am unworthy, but healed, restored, redeemed by His death burial and resurrection and so can we all Live again evermore to reign with Him forever and ever.

But our change can come today, our hearts can be renewed revived right now so that it rekindles that fire of love and compassion for all we touch either on line or off line. We can make a difference and that change begins inside every one of us -- starting right here! right now!

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BIBLE QUIZ

In this section, you will find five questions each month. Scripture references will sometimes be provided, but other times you will have to seek out the answers. We pray this will help you to get to know God's Word more.

This month, we thought we'd look at some questions focusing around the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord and Savior.

1. I am sure that we are all familiar with Simon of Cyrene that they forced to carry the cross for Jesus, but did you know that 2 of his sons are mentioned also--what are their names? (Mark 15)

2. Only one of the Gospels mentions the story about the thieves that were crucified with Jesus...which one is it?

3. Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross that read "JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS."--in what 3 languages was it written, according to John 19?

4. When the angel of the Lord came down from Heaven to roll the stone away from the tomb, and sit on it, according to Matthew 28 what kind of natural disaster took place?

5. According to John 20 what time of day, and on what day of the week did Jesus first appear to His disciples?

Click here for the answers

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CHECK IT OUT!

In this section we will share, and recommend our favorite website, book, movie, or any other favorite things we can think of to share with you. These are all highly recommended.

Movie of the Month: Yours, Mine, and Ours
Recommended by: Barbara Lea Campbell

Recently the movie Yours, Mine and Ours starring Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo was released to DVD. It is a cute movie about two very different families blending into one. There are 18 children total and they are not happy with the situation at all! What follows is a bit of mayhem in which the kids do there best to wreck the parents' relationship. Of course, as is often the case, sometimes we get what we want to find out it wasn't what we really wanted at all. There is a bit of language in the movie, but very little and nothing like typical movies today. It is a family friendly film.

I would also encourage you to see the original Yours, Mine and Ours. The premise is the same.. 2 large families becoming one.. but their circumstances are different. It stars Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda and is a hoot! No language to worry about either!

So whether you choose the original, the remake or both.. you are in for some family fun!

Book of the Month: Breakfast with Jesus: Discover His Presence Every Day
Recommended by: Kristina

Breakfast with Jesus: Discover His Presence Every Day by Greg Laurie

Greg Laurie has become quite popular over the last few years, well known for his church in California, his radio program, and his many published books. And in Breakfast with Jesus, Greg Laurie doesn't disappoint the reader as he takes us, devotional style, through the life and lessons of Jesus. The book contains three parts: The person of Jesus, The teaching of Jesus and The promises of Jesus. Each part is filled with dozens of chapters, each beginning with a Bible verse, that allows the reader to easily slip into the devotional, each just a few pages long. What I personally enjoy about this book is the way that Mr. Laurie puts the reader at ease, seemingly pulling them into his inner circle of friends. Reading his words feels the same as perhaps sharing a few minutes over coffee on a Saturday afternoon with him. I recommend this thought-provoking book to those Christians searching for a quick devotional that leaves much for the reader to think about.

Web Site of the Month: http://www.apologetix.com
Recommended by: Matthew Imbody

Since Denise and I have begun our journey into internet DJing, I have been looking for music that can instruct, entertain, and draw unbelievers into listening. Apologetix easily meets these criteria.

Their songs are parodies of old and new secular songs – but with Christian words. They take "More Than Words" by Extreme and make it "More Than Works". They start with "Yesterday" by The Beatles, and end with "Yes Today" – a song about saying YES to Jesus! From "YMCA", they come up with "YHWH"! From "Bohemian Rhapsody": "Bethlehem Rhapsody"! The list goes on and on...

And, one of the best features of the web site is that you can download and experience several songs for yourself in MP3 format! All you need to do is register with them by giving your e-mail, name, and zip code. Then, after confirming your e-mail address, you’re all set to download and enjoy!

Other site features like concert info, bios, a list of radio stations that play Apologetix, and a FAQ, make it even more enjoyable to visit http://www.apologetix.com. So, what are you waiting for? Go for it!

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JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH

In this section you might find a word search, An unscramble the words, OR any kind of word puzzle. We hope you will have fun with it! Ü

Unscramble these words pertaining to Easter.


HIRTTY CEEIPS FO EILRSV

AEOPSSRV

ACELP FO EHT KLLSU

EEHRT CEORSSS

AADEIPRS

ADEHT

CEEINORRRSTU

YTPME BMOT

AEGLN

ACEINNOSS

Click here for the answers

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Please e-mail us with any comments, suggestions, or feedback, at: Precious_Stones@JEMMinistries.org. We would love to hear from you! We would also love it if you would visit our JEM website, at: http://www.JEMMinistries.org As we continue with this monthly E-zine, you will also find a link to past issues there.

May God bless and keep you throughout this month! May He smile upon you, and show You mercy all of your days--and may You find peace in Him, and through Him! In Jesus' name, Amen






Answers for this month's BIBLE QUIZ:

1. Alexander and Rufus

2. Luke

3. Aramaic, Latin and Greek

4. A violent earthquake

5. On the evening of that first day of the week

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Answers for JEM'S PUZZLER OF THE MONTH:

THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER

PASSOVER

PLACE OF THE SKULL

THREE CROSSES

PARADISE

DEATH

RESURRECTION

EMPTY TOMB

ANGEL

ASCENSION

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