GRETNA, Neb. (KMTV) — Known as the Biblical masterpiece of Gretna, The Stations of the Cross at the Cloisters on the Platte are back open.
"When people come here, we want people to reconnect and rejuvenate in their spiritual life and in their connection with God," said Joe Ricketts, founder of Cloisters on the Platte Foundation.
There are fourteen sculpture stations, each depicting a different moment on the journey from Jerusalem to Christ's crucifixion, a story not easily told, let alone portrayed.
"We sought out the best sculptors in the country," said Ricketts. "Jesus needs to look the same at each station, even though we have different sculptors, they did an awesome job."
All made of bronze, standing seven feet tall, it took nine artists three years to capture the story. The sculptures start at the beginning when Christ was sentenced to be executed.
"I am excited to see the size of them, the size of the crucifix," said visitor Dale Naylor. "It's been on my phone as a place to check out for more than a year. I've been on a lot of retreats and this is suppose to be top of the line, on all levels."
The Stations of the Cross sits on almost 1,000 acres of land. There are bridges to cross above a picturesque body of water.
"We thought we would come and enjoy the scenery," said another visitor, Diane Sasse. "It is very pretty up in this area."
Station 12 is where he is nailed to the cross. With each painful moment captured, there are few that stand out with significant meaning.
"I do like station number 13, where Christ is being taken off of the cross," said Ricketts. "Nobody has any idea that that is the birth of Christianity."
During these uncertain COVID-19 times, this may be the perfect time to take a moment and reflect.
"Everybody is unsure of themselves; everybody is disappointed, sorrowful," said Ricketts. "That particular time would have to be very emotional, dramatic and a very significant time in Christianity."
The 2,500 steps to complete the 14 stations, is the exact amount of steps it took Christ to make it to his crucifixion at Calvary. The last stop, station 14, is the lifelike tomb where he is laid to rest, depicted with an angel hovering over him.
It is a guided audio tour. They do have weekend retreats, but they are not open yet. It is free to visit, but $10 donations are appreciated.
Visit cloistersontheplatte.com for more information.