Lohrum shares Easter message
Good News Club hears good news

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

“Are you really Jesus?” and “Do you really hang by your hands?” were two questions children asked of Johnnie Lohrum as he explained his mission of carrying the cross each Easter to a group gathered for Good News Club at the Jac-Cen-Del School Tuesday afternoon.

“No, I’m not Jesus, definitely not,” he replied to them. Then he explained how and why he carries the cross dressed as Jesus might have been, and then ‘hangs’ on the cross at his home just north of Osgood on US 421. “No, I do not put nails through my hands,” he told them, and showed them how he clasps his hands around gigantic spike nails to look like they are pierced.

The children sat in awe as Lohrum told how he uses food coloring and corn syrup to assimilate blood and uses other makeup techniques to get the bruising effect that Christ had after he was beaten. He showed them the crown of ‘thorns’ he wears and explained he made it himself from locust thorns. He cautioned them that the pointed parts of the thorns have to be positioned upwards, otherwise it would stick into his head and that would be too real.

Describing him as a missionary, Naomi Hibbard, the lady in charge of teaching for the evening, asked Lohrum to share his story with the children. He told them that he dresses the part and then carries a wooden cross from the courthouse in Versailles to his home (about a seven mile trek), each Good Friday. Then he hangs for about two hours at his house on a cross he has constructed. At the bottom of the cross are two wooden dice. “What would I use these for?” he asked the captive audience. There was silence and he explained the process of those who gambled or ‘cast lots’ for Jesus’ clothing on that day so long ago. He positions them so they reflect the number seven, which he explained was a perfect number in the Bible. “It’s just a reminder to me and to others about what Christ did for us,” he explained. The cross in his yard was erected in 1993 and he’s been walking about five years. He was glad to report that the story doesn’t end on Good Friday, but on Easter, when Christ arose from the grave.

Lohrum explained to the group that he has an American flag attached to the cross to honor our military troops. “I have several family members serving in the military,” he told them. He also has put wheels on the cross so it rolls easier and doesn’t wear off at the bottom. He says a lot of people stop him along the route for pictures or to ask questions. He is glad to share the good news of Good Friday, even if it looks grim.
Johnnie Lohrum of Osgood, is dressed as Jesus and told the children at the Good News Club at the Jac-Cen-Del school last week why he walks from the courthouse each Good Friday and hangs on a cross at his home just north of Osgood on US 421.