Carrying the Cross
|Carrying the Cross|
|Prep Time||20-60 min|
|The Point||How much Jesus did for them when he died.|
- about 1/3 as many six foot 4x4s as you have people.
- A set distance measured out (.2-.5 miles, with markers along the way)
- Cards with key statements of Jesus' suffering on them along the way.
- Several cars to pick up kids that can't make it, and to transport the 4x4s back to the beginning for the next group.
How to Set Up
Scholars think that Jesus carried the cross (or Simon did) for about .2-.5 miles. Your people don't have to carry it that far, but if they have the option to, that would be best, especially if it is uphill.
Along the route, put up signs for people to read that talk about what Jesus went through at the end. The beatings, stripping, mocking, crown of thorns, illegetimate trial, etc. Some verses on how Jesus did this willingly would be good too. The Christ hymn of Philippians 2 might be good here.
Mke sure that some vehicles can get all along the way, so that if people tire out, they can be picked up and the 4x4s can be returned to the beginning.
What Happens Then
Begin with gathering everyone at the beginning of the course. Talk briefly to set the stage, about what Jesus went through and why, how it is for us, and he didn't have to do it.
Tell everyone that this is a time of stepping into Jesus' shoes. Could you have done it? What would have been running through your mind? What does his sacrifice mean to you?
Send people out individually up the trail. Food, games, or worship can take place as people head up the hill. When everyone is done, have people share over a bonfire (made with their 4x4's would be cool) what they felt as they climbed. Did they want to stop? What do they think of what Jesus did for them? How they don't have to do that anymore?
The 4x4 is heavy. Some people will not be able to carry it very far. This is fine, and actually sets the stage even better because it shows how Jesus did not set his burden aside and instead went all the way when he didn't have to.
This could also turn into a race, so be careful. Try to spread the signs out far enough apart that crowds won't be gathering, and start people off far enough apart that they won't want to race each other.
This can work very well as part of a Good Friday service, or perhaps a fundraiser, though be careful to not damage the significance of the event.
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