The story of the last days of Christ can be witnessed in person in the coming days at Hillcrest Baptist Church.
The event, which is called Dust Of The Rabbi, takes guests through a re-enactment of what Christ endured at the time of his death. The event itself is positioned throughout the church, using separate, closed-off rooms to give the audience a more intimate feel of the action.
According to Todd Pullan and Mark Hinman, the event is the product of the collective work of more than 75 actors and countless other volunteers.
"We wanted to encourage people that they could help," said Pullan, director of the operation. "We asked people if they could come in and help paint tubes brown, instead of asking them to make trees."
"People may not think they are artists, so they may not want to come in and help," said Hinman. "Because (Pullan) is so artistic, we were (able to keep things simple for the volunteers), so we had a lot of people come in and help this year, more than we ever have in the past."
The event was designed in a manner so guests have a first-person experience with the events of Christ's crucifixion. Beyond scenery, guests are encouraged to carry the cross for Jesus, just as Simon of Cyrene did; help clean up the blood from Jesus's flogging; and offer themselves as a sacrifice on the cross.
According to Mark Hinman, pastor at the church, people of all faiths and denominations are welcome to attend the event. All ages are welcome as well, however the event might not be suitable for the youngest of children. For parents who are unsure, the church would be more than happy to allow a parent to see the event first, then come back again with their children.
"We've worked really hard to take that grief and the horror of the resurrection to the point of joy," said Hinman. "The truth of Christianity is not that Jesus died, but that he died and rose again."
Dust Of The Rabbi will take place today from 6-9 p.m., Saturday from 2-4 p.m. and again from 6-9 p.m., and will close on Easter Sunday with shows from 10-11 a.m. and again from noon-1 p.m.
Hillcrest Baptist Church is located at 40 Hallock St. The number for the church is 483-3331.
PASSOVER SEDER DINNER
On Thursday evening, Philip Petscher, messianic minister with Hatikvah Ministries, gave an example of a Passover seder dinner at the church's rectory.
A seder dinner is a Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover. It is conducted on the evenings of the 14th day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, and on the 15th by traditionally observant Jews living outside Israel.
Seder Dinner consists of 14 different rituals, and involve customs such as eating matza.
The rituals, in order, are: Kadeish (blessings and the first cup of wine), Ur'chatz (wash hands), Karpas (appetizer), Yachatz (breaking of the middle matzah), Magid (relating the Exodus), Rohtzah (ritual washing of hands), Motzi Matzah (blessings over the matzah), Maror (bitter herbs), Koreich (sandwich), Shulchan Orech (the meal), Tzafun (eating of the afikoman), Bareich (grace after meals), Hallel (songs of praise), and Nirtzah.
Petscher, who was not too pious to omit humor from his explanation, described the difference between round and square matza.
"This (round) matza is only made for about one month a year," said Petscher. "We see in the supermarkets the square matza and, sure, it's kosher. But what is kosher all year round is not kosher enough (at this time of year). Everything has to be clean. This (round) matza, from the moment the process begins to when it is finished cannot be more than 18 minutes. For this reason, it is expensive. For maybe six or seven sheets of matza, it would cost us $20. It may be expensive, but some of us would eat it year-round if we had the dough."