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Bringing Easter to life

The annual Passion Drama includes a variety of scenes from the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. In this scene, Jesus passes through crowds of people waving palm branches.1 / 2
The final scene from the Passion Drama shows Jesus' ascension into heaven.2 / 2

With snow in the forecast, the weather may have scared off a few people, but the outdoor Passion Drama still attracted good-sized crowds in Alexandria on Sunday and Tuesday.

A total of 2,156 people turned out for both days of the event - the 15th annual. That's a little down from previous years, like last year when temperatures hit 70 degrees for the Tuesday presentation, which helped boost the total attendance to nearly 2,900.

The presentation was every bit as powerful as in the past, reminding people of the true meaning of Easter - a message of hope, forgiveness, renewal and resurrection.

Members of Zion and Good Shepherd Lutheran churches present the Passion Drama, reenacting key stages in the life of Jesus Christ, from his birth to his crucifixion and ascension.

The 20-minute guided tour brought attendees through 13 scenes.

A new addition this year was Peter, one of Jesus' disciples, who spoke to the crowd as they were waiting in line.

Another change was to have Jesus face the crowd during the scene where he is whipped by soldiers, allowing people to better imagine the pain he endured during his sacrifice.

The drama involved more than 150 volunteer members from both churches.

Zion and Good Shepherd will continue their Easter observance with their "Guarding of the Tomb" reenactment this weekend. Volunteers will stand outside a makeshift tomb starting today, Good Friday, at noon and continuing until 5 a.m. Easter morning.

People are encouraged to drive by 3rd Avenue and Lake Street to view the presentation and are welcome to stop and talk with the soldiers about the message of Easter.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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