“One thing is for sure,” the news commentator said, “This is an Easter weekend nobody here will forget.”
As a soft mist falls on thousands of people engaged in carrying the cross, and those who walk beside them, nobody cares about the rain. They walk silently. Their focus is on the one whose steps they follow.
And it is stunning to see... a thousand crosses carried by men, women, children and teens, walking from all over downtown Portland and across the Bridges on the Willamette River. The view from the overhead chopper, and nearby skyscrapers, shows thousands of people carrying crosses. In places, they form lines that stretch from east of the Willamette River, across several bridges, and into Tom McCall Waterfront Park. They are all congregated near the USS Oregon Monument where a pastor is leading them in a short presentation and concert of praise to God for sending his Son to die on a cross.
Everyone is impressed with the cross walkers. Many wonder who they are, why we they are here and what the crosses are for.
One participant, who had just finished carrying his cross said, “This is the greatest day of my life.” Another said, “I’m glad I brought my family and friends with me.”
“Jesus showed up big time,” one teen said.
“It’s a revival in my life!” One mother said. “It touched my kids too.”
All Christian faiths have bonded together to show one commitment to the Savior of all faiths, and how he died for us all. Everyone is focused on Jesus Christ and praising God. Pastors are working together with a unity seldom seen in Portland.
Thousands of churches are celebrating and the buzz is reaching a national level—as demonstrated by the television news feeds that are picking up the story. News commentators note that all of the wood from the thousands of crosses will be donated to Habitat for Humanity. Onlookers are asking questions and yet walkers and cross carriers maintain their silent attempt to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
The walk culminates for many a journey in which they grew closer to Jesus by living the Jesus Experiment. This experiment allows participants to discover if the promise of Jesus to give abundant life is true. They learn this by following Jesus into different situations and asking, what does he feel, think, say and do. Later, when they then face a similar situation they ask the same questions of themselves and then ask God to bring them into alignment with Jesus. This alignment with Christ has powerfully unleashed his life in them. For them the Cross Walk is an important way to follow in his steps by symbolically dying to this world and themselves.