Many citizens joined in the production by helping re-enact the long walk that Christ took over 2,000 years ago to the place of his crucifixion as they followed Harlan High School student Forrest Hollins, who played the part of Jesus, through the streets of town.
The program, which is sponsored by the Holy Trinity Catholic Church and organized each year by Dawn Nunez, depicted the day of Jesus' crucifixion in a walk that consisted of 10 stops throughout the city, beginning and ending at the courthouse.
Nunez said that although she has organized the program each year, the idea was brought to her attention by Angela Judd, a former member of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church.
"She brought the idea up to me that first year, and since she did not know very many people here in the county, I organized the program, and it has been going ever since," said Nunez. "The whole thing was actually Angela's idea, but I enjoy it so much. It is such a rewarding thing to do and to look forward to."
Nunez said that some of the narrative stops along the walk were conducted by local residents, including several ministers, and that they had done a wonderful job with their narration of the program. She also gave credit to the Glory Singers of the Harlan Baptist Church, who performed the opening entertainment.
"It was just so wonderful to have so many ministers to take part in the program, and the Glory Singers were just wonderful with their performance also," said Nunez.
A somber silence fell over the crowd which was gathered around the courthouse lawn as the opening prayer was read by Margie Grieshop.
As they sang the words to the hymn "Were You There," the crowd followed by reciting Jesus' own words, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."
The first stop, which was narrated by Bob Landis, depicted the scene where Jesus was condemned to death as Landis read the part of Pilate, who asked the crowd, "What do you want me to do with the man you call the king of the Jews?"
As recorded in the Bible, the crowd responded, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"
Narrated by Bill Reed, the second stop of the walk depicted Jesus being scourged and crowned with thorns as Reed read a passage in which Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged and the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and placed it upon His head, hailing him "The king of the Jews."
Barry Leonard narrated the third stop, depicting the part where Jesus was given his cross and was led out by the soldiers to be crucified.
On the fourth stop, the crowd was told the story of Simon, a passerby who helped Jesus carry His cross to his final destination. This part of the walk was narrated by Frank Stoffle.
The fifth stop, which led the crowd into the biblical account of Jesus' crucifixion, was narrated by Ronnie Hampton. During the crucifixion narration, Hampton read the passage in which Jesus was brought to the place of Golgotha, which is translated "Place of the Skull." There, he was offered wine and myrrh, which he did not accept, before he was crucified.
On the sixth stop, the passage in which Jesus promised paradise to the good thief, was narrated by John Ditty and also related the account in which the other thief asked Jesus, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us."
The seventh stop, narrated by Jake Ravizee told the crowd the story of how Jesus spoke to his mother and His disciple while hanging on the cross.
Jesus looked down from the cross and said to his mother, Mary, "Woman, behold your son." And to His disciple, he said, "Behold your mother." According to the story, from that hour the disciple took Mary into his home.
The eighth stop, narrated by Charlotte Nolan, related the agony of Jesus' death on the cross, with Nolan verbally emphasizing the pain that Christ must have surely felt on that fateful day.
The burial of Jesus was depicted on the ninth stop of the walk, with David Davies narrating the re-enactment.
The 10th stop was narrated by Nunez and depicted the scene of Jesus rising from the dead on the third day with Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James, coming to find the tomb empty as the sun rose on the first day of the week.
According to the story, the women had come to Jesus' tomb to anoint his body with spices only to find the stone had been rolled away and the tomb was empty, except for the Angel who greeted them with the news of Jesus' resurrection.
The story of Easter has long become a source of strength for millions of Christian followers who await the second return of Jesus Christ as well as a promise of their own immortal resurrection into a spiritual body.