Saturday, April 15, 2006

Good Friday

Freaky picture. Reminds me of a ku klux clan ceremony. It’s not though. It’s a photograph that was taken at a Good Friday procession in Mosta, Malta in 2004. I still lived in Malta in that year and witnessed other processions. The Maltese love to dress up! If they were the inhabitants of Holland, I’d imagine them dressing up as Nazi’s to replay how their country was invaded during the Second World War every year. (c:

In a way, I suppose it is cool how many Maltese are involved yearly in remembering the death of Christ. Yet there is something about the way they do it that makes me so sad.
One of my first impressions of Malta was another one of these processions, shown on Dutch television, before I lived there. There were more of these white-robed guys in that procession. They walked bare-foot, with iron chains around their legs, dragging on iron balls like the ghosts that are stereotypical to old castles. This was their way of doing penance for their sins.

You know, Malta isn’t even so bad compared to some countries. People have had themselves crucified as a way of doing penance for their sins. In many religions, people torture themselves in an effort to somehow earn salvation.

Jesus died so that there would be no need for this. He died because there is nothing we can do to pay for our own sins. Our debt is too great before God. So He paid it all on the cross. If we refuse to except that gift and try to earn it, we make His sacrifice useless. How hurtful!

I remember being small and afraid of many things. Sometimes I think I was wiser then, than I am today. I remember crying because I kept thinking of what Jesus did for me. I remember trying to find shelter near Him when I got scared in the dark. He’s always been there. Good Friday reminds me of what He did for me. It is odd that I seem to need this reminder. My love for Him is small, my thankfulness insignificant. Yet He forgives me.

Isaiah 53:5
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.


Luke said...

heh, say hello to my grandpa! (c: i feel like you shouldn't keep his comment up too long though, as it has his genuine e-mail address in it.. and that, well, is available for address-farmers.

My grandpa is quite knowledgeable about Malta and has been intent on it for well nigh a half a century. He's written quite a few letters in the newspaper there and gotten them published. Full-scale dialogues. Great stuff. Mention Malta to him and you can sit down for a long time to some great stories.

annegreet said...

Yeah, I felt that too...I'm glad you've pointing it out. Cool that he ended up here and that he loves Malta so much. (c:

Lucas said...

Together with Lila and Jeff I was at the Good Friday procession in Mosta this year! I could send you more up to date pictures for your blog!
They still have loads of the hooded guys, dragging steel balls behind them, walking in it. It was such a slow event, that we left before the end. There's a lot of symbolism in it, which is cool, but there's even more weird teachings and doctrine in it which can not be found in the Bible at all! Good Friday is a sad and solemn day for Maltese, whilst they should rejoice and be happy that Christ paid for their sins so that they may go to heaven. Many choose to ingore Christ gift and see how they can work their way into heaven and pay for their sins (even though Christ already did)! Greetings from Malta,

Luke said...

It is the same in the Philipines. They have people called "flagelantes" who abuse themselves as they walk through the streets to pay for their sins. They also perform crucifixions (temporary) to pay for more major sins. Some only get tied up, others actually allow damage as a real crucifixion. Pretty horrible because they don't know that their debts have been paid already by Christ, in fact that was the whole PURPOSE of his death. Sigh.

they also believe that one shouldn't do anything on good-friday until easter sunday as Jesus is not alive during those days to speak to Father on our behalf and keep us safe. If we die on those days, there is great risk of condemnation.

annegreet said...

Very have come close somehow, but to have missed the whole PURPOSE! To know the story, but to have missed the message.

Luke said...

while seeing, yet be blind. hearing, yet deaf. sounds familiar? seems like a definition for tragedy.

Wolterkabolter said...

When are you going to post something about real-life births and stuff ;)?