Saturday, April 7, 2012

G is for Good Friday

When Christ was about to die on the cross, He told us, "It is finished."

This week, his death and resurrection is reenacted in Passion plays around the world. Right out our front window this Good Friday morning, we watched as a huge crowd of people walked by our house, visiting the 14 Stations of the Cross.
Station #9 was about 10 yards away from our house.
The procession was led by devotees carrying a statue of Christ

The procession seemed to go on forever past our house.   
But in a few places in the Philippines, they take it a step further.

Last year on Good Friday, some friends and I went to Pampanga, where self-flagellation is still practiced.

As we walked closer to the center of town, we knew we were getting close. As cars drove by we could see blood spattered on their sides.

We soon saw a group of men rhythmically whipping themselves.  Their blood and sweat mingled, and glistened as it streamed down their backs.

We kept walking, and soon arrived at 'Golgotha' a small hill with a cross already laying on the ground.

Soon, The participants arrived. They were dressed as Roman soldiers, Mary, and of course Jesus. The cross was made ready. The soldiers got their hammer and nails ready.

Then, the display of flagellation climaxed in the actual crucifixion of multiple volunteers.

Care is taken to use thin nails, and alcohol is applied to them before the nailing commences. but the sound of hammer hitting nail heads, and nails going through skin and tendons and blood vessels and entering the wooden cross is very real.

It's said that the participants want to take part in the sufferings of Christ.

Our prayer is that we have the chance to share with people that when Christ said "It is finished,"

He really meant it.

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