The people closest to Jesus will give on-the-spot reportage of the dramatic events leading up to Easter as if they were unfolding in real time in an Easter Drama to be relayed by SMS, Facebook and Twitter.
Bible Society Australia’s HOLY TXT initiative is an innovative way to help Australians engage with the Bible, as the Society celebrates its 200th anniversary this year.
Participants are asked to text the word “Holy” to 0488 222 777. They will then receive text messages assigned to four characters from the Bible who participated in the historic events that created Christianity, a movement that today has two billion followers.
The drama begins on Palm Sunday 9 April and continues to Easter Sunday 16 April with Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter, John Ben Zebedee and a teenager, Mark, giving their various perspectives on the events of the final week of Jesus’ earthly life.
“It’s a unique retelling of the Easter story where people can truly engage with the Bible.” – Greg Clarke
From the time Jesus enters Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, these key figures from Jesus’ inner circle will give the inside running on events as they happen – the washing of the disciples feet, the last supper, Peter’s shameful denial of Jesus as he is being tried in the home of the Chief Priest, the crucifixion and Mary’s discovery of the empty tomb.
Australians have been using SMS to text Bible verses to encourage friends and family for 20 years. But this is believed to be the first time the SMS platform has been used to send text messages from characters in the Bible story itself.
“It’s a unique retelling of the Easter story where people can truly engage with the Bible and hear from those who witnessed the events that changed mankind forever,” says Bible Society Australia CEO Greg Clarke.
While HOLY TXT is a new format, Easter plays are the oldest form of drama in the Western tradition and remain popular in Europe. The Oberammergau Passion has been performed regularly, to large crowds, on the Bavarian-Tyrolean border for more than 400 years. There are also scripts for Easter plays, featuring conversations with the women who knew Jesus, going back to a 10th-century monk in St Gallen called Tutilo.