Pioneer Christian filmmaker Rev. James K. Friedrich and his talented team at Cathedral Films created this ambitious 12-part half-hour series for church and television audiences. Filmed in color between 1951 and 1957, this inspired series dramatizes a true-to-scriptures account of the Life of Jesus Christ – His birth, boyhood, teachings and ministry, death and resurrection. The series faithfully dramatizes all key characters and events in the Life of the Son of God. Distinguished Christian actor Robert Wilson portrays Christ.

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Holy Night

Here begins an amazing series of events which brought Jesus to a world in turmoil. The story opens from the pages of the Old Testament when Hezekiah was King in Jerusalem and Isaiah a Prophet. The siege of Jerusalem, it’s burning, and Isaiah’s prophesies concerning the Messiah is faithfully portrayed. From this opening backdrop, the film transitions 700 years and to the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophesy; the announcement to Mary (Annunciation). Depicted also; the journey to Bethlehem, the adoration of the shepherds and the manger scene make vividly real this beautiful story of the beginning of the life of Jesus.

Escape to Egypt

This film reverently dramatizes the story of Joseph and Mary remaining in Bethlehem after the birth of Jesus; rites of presentation of baby Jesus in Temple are shown, as are Simeon’s recognition of the child as the Christ, the coming of the Wise Men and Herod’s attempt to outwit them, adoration of the magi and Herod’s order for the slaughter of the innocents. Joseph, warned in a dream, takes Mary and the baby Jesus and escapes to Egypt.

The Boyhood and Baptism

Starting with the return from Egypt, this episode dramatizes the home and school training of the boy Jesus, the boy at the Temple, the advent of Pontius Pilate as governor, his political problems with Caiaphas and Herod. John the Baptist is introduced and his menace to the Herodian throne is explained. The growing influence of John’s message and a vivid depiction of the baptism of Jesus is depicted.

Men of the Wilderness

Following John the Baptist’s testimony that Jesus is the Son of God, he baptizes Jesus. Jesus seeks solitude in the wilderness for 40 days, climaxed by His three temptations. Returning to Jordan, He learns of John’s imprisonment by Herod who attempts to break the Baptist’s spirit. Conflict between Herod and Herodias over disposing of John the Baptist is shown. Now the great ministry of Jesus begins. We see him call His first disciples, the humble fisherman. We see Jesus’ healing of a mad man at Capernaum, and the curing of the sick and lame in the courtyard of Peter’s home.

Challenge of Faith

Depicts the challenges of Christ to the first disciples as He begins a preaching ministry accompanied by Peter, Andrew, James and John. John the Baptist is secretly visited in prison by friends. On the shore of Galilee, Jesus renews friendship with the disciples’ old fishing companions, and we experience Jesus’ calling of Matthew to discipleship. The film closes with Jesus’ healing of a paralytic.


Depicts the meaning of being a Christian; the spreading of Jesus fame as His popularity increases, Multitudes follow Him. After a night in prayer He chooses twelve from a group of disciples whom He names Apostles. Jesus gives the Sermon on the Mount, He instructs on prayer and offers the Lord’s Prayer. We see him healing a leper.

Return to Nazareth

Events brought into focus in this episode include scriptural accounts of Jesus healing a centurion’s servant, Jesus attending the wedding at Cana, changing water into wine, His rejection at Nazareth; the midnight visit of Nicodemus, Jesus explanation of spiritual birth, He forgives the sins of a woman at Samaria, her witness, and Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan.


This episode develops the increasing political intrigue in Jerusalem which eventually results in Christ’s crucifixion. The loyalty to Jesus of the man born blind is depicted, also Jesus’ assurances to him. Despite gathering clouds, Jesus concern is still for others like Mary and Martha of Bethany, to whom He emphasizes importance of spiritual concerns over the material.. Returning to Galilee, Jesus sends the Apostles on their first missionary journey.

Fate of John the Baptist

From prison John the Baptist sends messengers to ask Jesus, “Are you he who was to come, or shall we look for another?” Jesus sends John a message of affirmation, bidding messengers to tell the Baptist all they have seen and heard. After they depart Jesus confirms that He is the Messiah and that John the Baptist was His forerunner as prophesied. Dramatically portrayed is Herod’s banquet, the dance of Salome, John’s the Baptist’s arrest, imprisonment and execution. Jesus, told of the Baptist’s death, tells His disciples.

Retreat and Decision

Jesus withdraws with the twelve to lands outside Herod’s jurisdiction. The disciples know it is a critical period in the Master’s life, He reveals now that they are the Church, predicts His death and resurrection. Peter, James and John witness Christ’s transfiguration, Jesus heals the epileptic boy, blesses little children, and raises Lazarus from the dead, Jesus' triumphal entry to Jerusalem is halted at the Temple gates when He sees the money changers in the Temple courtyard.

Triumph and Defeat

Jesus returns to the Temple, overthrows the money changers tables, and in holy wrath denounces their perversion of religion. Jesus' reputation increases and men say He is the Messiah. In an upper room Jesus eats His last supper with the Apostles, takes His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane where He prays, as Judas approaches with the Temple guards and betrays Jesus with a kiss. We witness Jesus trial before Pilate and Herod where He is beaten and mocked by the crowds, Pilate “washes his hands of the affair” and delivers Jesus to the will of Sanhedrin.

Crucifixion and Resurrection

The climactic film in this distinguished series depicts the cross at Calvary and Jesus’ crucifixion; Judas throws the silver coins at the feet of Caiaphas, hangs himself with his sash. Jesus’ tomb is sealed, then discovered empty. This mighty episode closes with Christ’s awe-inspiring reappearance to His disciples in the upper room, the convincing of the doubting Thomas brings Jesus' words “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe,” to one and all.