Local churches reenact Jesus’ crucifixion

Published 5:52 pm Friday, April 10, 2009

Cars slowed to a crawl on Dallas Avenue Friday, and people stood on their front porches, watching a crowd heckle a man wearing a bloody white robe. They shouted insults at the man as he carried a large wooden cross on his shoulder.

“He’s too weak to be a king,” one said.

“A pitiful man,” another heckler shouted.

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The reenactment of Jesus’ march to the cross was part of a three-day event hosted by several local churches. The event began at City Hall where a bound and bloodied Jesus was put on trial on the front steps. As a police car led the actors down the street, a crowd of people snapped photographs as they walked toward Valley Creek Park, where the crucifixion would be re-enacted.

People came from all over to witness the unique event, which started 17 years ago.

“It is awesome,” Leslie Barrios said. “I came all the way from Uniontown. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”

While the re-enactment was emotional and difficult to watch, Barrios said she just thought about the resurrection.

“It hurts to see it, but there’s comfort to know he is risen,” she said.

Some folks came specifically to watch the re-enactment. Others just happened to see the procession from their front doors.

Hayden Brunner, 8, sat on the sidewalk in front of Town & Country Real Estate of Selma LLC. He said he was sad to see Jesus whipped with a cat o’ nine tails, but the re-enactment made him think about why Easter is celebrated.

“Because Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins,” he said.

Autumn Williams walked alongside the group. Williams, who participated in the reenactment the last two years, said she wanted to witness the event from the other side this time around.

“This year I decided to step out and watch it,” she said. “It’s just so amazing that Selma can be able to do this.”

Sheri McIntosh came from Chiefland, Fla. to watch her friend portray Jesus. As the wind whipped, McIntosh rushed to stay in front of the groups and take pictures with a disposable camera. She said the re-enactment was intense and emotional, but she could not imagine what it must have been like to witness Jesus die on the cross.

“They beat him until he wasn’t even recognizable,” McIntosh said. “It was a lot more horrible than you can portray here.”

Rod Rochester, one of the event organizers, said the reenactment is all about results. He said the participants want to change people’s lives.

“We’ve watched people come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior during this event,” he said.