Passion Play

Last Saturday we met some friends for lunch at their home in Cleveland, Tennessee. Afterward, we drove over to Collegedale to attend the Sonrise passion play at Southern Adventist University. Because we had a long way to drive, we were in the last group of the day. Apparently the event organizer botched the ticket distribution, and did not require tickets for our group. Consequently, there was a huge, diverse throng present for the spectacle. The play’s projected ninety minutes took our group between three and four hours to complete. We started in the campus church building, then for about mile around the campus that had been decorated to resemble First Century Jerusalem populated by costumed actors playing vendors, disciples, Roman soldiers, priests, money-changers, mourners, dancing girls, and so forth. I took many pictures. By day’s end, we were all tired, but it was nice to spend a day with friends.

Below are some of the pictures I took. I doubt the software will display them in order. The Cautious One said Judas hanged was disturbing, she was also a little worried Seventy-Six would be bothered by all the fake blood on the Jesus character, but at his age, he doesn’t even know what blood is. The one thing that did frighten him was a loud explosion during the resurrection scene. All in all, he was more interested in all the people around him than in the staged scenes. I carried him throughout most of event in an R.E.I. baby/toddler backpack. Worked great, and he was able see over the heads of the crowd. He even kept his sun hat on for about 20 minutes. He was fine without it because we’d used SPF 50 baby sunscreen on his arms and noggin.

The guy who played Jesus in the play portrayed him as a guy who could not control his emotions. A lot of sobbing. After the first such utterance, I mostly tuned him out and reflected upon the gospel accounts of the scenes acted out.