Down the Via Dolorosa Christ walked that significant day suffering the yells and torture of crowds and soldiers.
The youth of Covenant Baptist Church made a decision four years ago to not let the current world forget the sacrifice made for them.
For the fifth year, they gathered and bore crosses down the main street of Cleveland telling in a visual way the story of Jesus’ final days and the victory over death that was to come.
“We started this four years ago and it’s very humbling as we walk up the hills or through the rain, you start thinking about the price He paid,” said Michelle Moats of the church. “That’s not even half an ounce of what he went through for us.”
She said the church is very supportive of the group setting up checkpoints and water along the path which stretches more than three miles.
“They cheer us on and that’s great because in the church we need people cheering us on,” Moats said.
Pastor Gary Higgins said the walk is not about promoting anything but Christ.
“These young people get this thing together to let us represent what Easter means to us as Christians,” Higgins said. “It’s not about commercialism. It’s about a risen Saviour.”
The origin for the idea came after the young people had gone to a Christian youth meeting.
“The sermon was ‘Now is the time. Now is the place. You are the one.’ They took a cross and passed it among all of us there. And, we all got a touch about carrying the cross,” Moats recalled.
“When we got back to the church we thought how great it would be at Eastertime to make a statement by carrying the cross through Cleveland.”
She said the group has seen people blow their horns, people cry and people starting to praise.
“We’ve had people post on Facebook how much it touched their lives and changed their lives,” Moats said. “So, once we did it one time there was no turning back and it’s gotten bigger every year.”
Co-youth leader Tiffany Widener said it was an “exciting event.”
“Last year, we got a phone call telling us a little boy had gotten saved,” Widener said. “There was a funeral procession one year and the family got in touch with us to tell us what it mean to see the cross at that moment.”
Co-youth leader Jake Moats said the event and participation says a lot about the church and the young people.
“These guys on a Saturday would normally be sleeping or doing other things, but you see their dedication and how they want to do it — not for our church to be seen — but for God to be seen,” he said. “That’s the most important thing about this.”