PALM BRANCHES AND HOSANNAS. For the Christian church, both mark Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week.
This morning at the church I attend, Trinity Lutheran in Faribault, Holy Week also began with a “Journey to the Cross” event. I was blessed to be a volunteer in this journey which led attendees through Christ’s final days to his glorious resurrection on Easter.
With passports in hand, kids and adults traveled from station to station, listening to performers role-play the parts of towns’ people, a temple worker, soldiers, an angel and others.
But this was about much more than sharing biblical history. This was about hands-on activities that reinforced the spoken word. This was about engaging the senses and experiencing Holy Week.
And therein lies the strength of “Journey to the Cross.” Participants received palm branches, felt the weight of the 30 silver coins Judas received for betraying Jesus, heard the crack of the whip against Jesus’ back, pounded nails into wood, tasted vinegar like that offered to Christ suffering on the cross, raised their voices in “He is risen!” at the vacant tomb and more.
I left with a deeper connection and understanding of what Christ endured. I could hear, see, feel, taste and smell the events of that final week. It was a memorable morning and the perfect contemplative beginning to Holy Week.
THE JOURNEY IN MORE PHOTOS:
Stop #1, Jerusalem on Palm Sunday:
Stop #2, Judas betrays Jesus for 30 pieces of silver:
Stop #3, Before the Passover meal on the Thursday of Holy Week, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet:
Stop #4, Remembering the Passover meal, Jesus’ last meal with his disciples:
Stop #5, Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane:
Stop #6, Jesus was whipped, beaten and teased:
Stop #7, Christ is crucified on the cross:
Stop #8: As Jesus died on the cross, he said he was thirsty. He was given vinegar to drink. (I don’t have any photos from this station.) Participants could taste vinegar.
Stop #9: Jesus’ tomb is found empty on Easter. (I don’t have any photos from this station.) Those on the tour joined the angel and the woman at the gravesite in celebrating Jesus resurrection with these words: He is risen!
Stop #10, The final check-in station allowed participants to talk and write about their experiences:
FYI: “Journey to the Cross” is available for purchase through Concordia Publishing House. Click here for more information.
It’s described as “an outreach and educational event for your congregation and community. Through activities based on Scripture, participants experience the joy of Palm Sunday, the disappointment of Judas’ betrayal, the devastation of the crucifixion, the jubilation of the resurrection, and so much more. This family program invites children and adults to walk the path that Jesus walked.”
© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling