John Thomas, Todd Nichols, Darrin O'Neal, and Ernie Cleland portrayed Roman soldiers during Southside Baptist Church in Andalusia’s Cross Walk.
John Thomas, Todd Nichols, Darrin O'Neal, and Ernie Cleland portrayed Roman soldiers during Southside Baptist Church in Andalusia’s Cross Walk.

CROSS WALK

Published 12:00am Saturday, April 26, 2014

Southside Baptist Church youth recently got a small taste of Jesus’ suffering through its Cross Walk event.

“We built a cross that weighs about 250 pounds, that is 16 feet tall with the cross beam being 8 feet in length,” said Shane Newton, SBC youth minister. “The whole purpose of it was a special closing to our student sermon called ‘The Passion of the Christ’ where we spent four weeks studying about Christ’s suffering for us.”

Newton said through the Cross Walk event, they wanted the students to make Easter and the cross personal.

“Most of the students knew the story about Jesus and the cross, but we wanted  to try to make it more personal with them,” he said. “We divided into teams of seven to form a group to carry the cross. We had eight different groups of students. Each group had to carry the cross together 120-130 steps to the next group.”

Newton said Roman soldiers ordered the students on where to go and when to pick up or put down the cross.

“Each group had one adult leader to encourage students as they carried it,” Newton said. “The groups brought the cross to a bonfire. At the bonfire, we walked the events of the crucifixion scene in the Bible. Each student was given a nail to represent their sins and they went to the cross and nailed it as a reminder that Jesus died for their sins.”

During the evening prayer, Roman soldiers spread red paint on the cross to resemble Jesus’ blood, and they stood up the cross.

“Our students finished praying, and they opened their eyes to see the cross standing with their nails in the cross and paint showing Jesus’ blood that was shed for them,” Newton said. “It was an awesome night and our adult leaders did a great job of encouraging and helping students make it personal.”

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