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.
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.