Easter Saturday Presentation

ONE FCover of leafletRIDAY
This year Churches Together in Sandbach presented the Easter Story in a series of tableaux on the Cobbles.

One Friday almost 2000 years ago in the city of Jerusalem a good man called Jesus set out on a journey that would change the world. He walked less than a mile. But in the course of that day  he was wrongly arrested, betrayed by his closest friends, tried in a rigged court and then horribly executed in public.

We began our story as Jesus entered Jerusalem with a donkey, feted by crowds of people waving palm branches and shouting “Hosanna!”.  

Scene 1 The Arrest in the Garden
A few days later Jesus and his friends had gone to Gethsemane, a small plantation of olive trees just outside Jerusalem. It’s pretty clear that he knew what the next 24 hours would hold.  Before Jesus and his friends had a chance to leave the garden a mob arrived  to arrest Jesus.

Scene 2 The Judgement 
The next morning Jesus was dragged in front of the Jewish council of elders. He was accused of claiming to be the Messiah, the Son of God, something that required the death penalty. They  had no authority to execute Jesus, so they took him to the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, and demanded the death sentence. 

Scene 3 Jesus carries his cross
When they had tortured him, the soldiers brought two huge pieces of timber which they had made into a cross shape. This was the cross on which they planned to kill him. He was forced to carry the heavy wood up the hill towards his place of execution. Christians believe that Jesus also “carried” the weight of the world’s evil to the cross with him.

Scene 4 Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
As he continued his journey Jesus came across some women who had followed him. They were weeping as they watched him struggle. But in the middle of his own terrible pain there was a moment of compassion. He knew that there were times of terrible suffering coming their way.
 

Scene 5 The Crucifixion
Now Jesus had reached the end of his journey – the place where he would die. Crucifixion was one of the most cruel and painful forms of execution ever devised. 
And yet at this point Jesus spoke to his Father God. Not to ask to be rescued. Instead he was praying that the people who crucified him would be forgiven.

Conclusion
And so he died. Death is one of the great taboos of life. We don’t like to talk about it, and we’re rarely there when it happens. But it comes to us all one day; we can’t avoid it. Death is a natural part of life.

What a sad note to finish on.    That’s the end of today’s story …  at least that was what everybody thought.

Jesus was dead and buried. But don’t think that the story of Good Friday ends in tragedy - it wasn’t the end. In some ways it was just the beginning,  as you will begin to see overleaf.
From the events of that day in a corner of the Middle East, a message of forgiveness, hope and reconciliation has spilled out through the centuries to every corner of the world. That’s why Christians call this day Good Friday.

… Early on the Sunday morning they made an extraordinary discovery – one that would change not only their own lives, but the whole world.

 

Pictures of the event are on The Churches Together in Sandbach website

 

The image from the front cover of the leaflet is by Janet Hawke and was provided by CPO as part of the "One Friday" initiative.


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