As a Catholic, Easter has often been extremely eventful for me. Around the several years, a single Easter action that has found a good deal of innovation is the Stations of the Cross (a prayer that recounts the very last moments main to the Crucifixion of Christ).
These times, most parishes enact the prayer on Great Friday morning in its place of reciting and subsequent the stations inside the Chapel as is performed in the course of Lent. The pilgrimage-type participate in requires the overall congregation alongside the journey, so it is typically held outdoors. As a student, I usually wished I could acquire aspect in this perform, but not simply because of its religious significance it was what an lively collaborating youth in Church must do, I thought. On the other hand, somehow rehearsal schedules under no circumstances suited me.
In Easter of 2013, I eventually experienced the opportunity to take aspect in the youth perform. In addition, there was an icing on the cake: our priest was performing too. He was likely to perform the function of Jesus Christ.
Rehearsals ended up enjoyable – we joked, we laughed, and we acquired to know just about every other improved. It was a perfectly-put in time. The younger men ended up also enthusiastic because they have been likely to have a possibility to “beat” the Priest.
They always teased him about how they ended up likely to conquer him mercilessly and he often instructed them to do just that. Having said that, rehearsal soon after rehearsal, he delegated a Seminarian (a trainee Priest) to get up his function though he took up the role of a director. As a outcome, some of us assumed he was in no way heading to get up his function.
Good Friday came. When I arrived at the church premises, I went straight to the parish house: our agreed conference position. I obtained a trace: “Father is using up the role”. “I lept for joy”. It was this sort of an honour! In the excitement of having prepared, we noticed the Priest arise in the hall in which we ended up all collected. What! He was in casual shorts, and he experienced no shirt on. He needed aid with his costume: African cloth men’s underwear. He was not revealing nor provocative, not at all.
The shock was from the fact that we imagined our agreed costume for “Jesus” was as well demeaning for our Priest primarily a person who was constantly in His cassock no make a difference the occasion. I and a several other folks provided to support him. Whiles assisting, I asked if he was genuinely likely to get portion in the enjoy.
At a place in the perform, his cassock will go off, and he will be still left with only his shorts included with a piece of fabric styled as native men’s underwear. But his brain was designed up. By the time we were accomplished with his costume, it was apparent none of us wanted him to enjoy the purpose. Small did we know that we have been on a journey for the serious shock.
The enjoy begun properly but when it received to exactly where the “beatings” started, almost everything altered. The beating appeared also authentic. He was pushed about and geared at. He looked so rejected, so desolate. His trim overall body did not aid, and I am certain the 40-day fasting through Lent had not helped both – you could count his ribs. And his “bushy” hair.
He was at the mercy of the scorching sunlight, so he was sweating profusely. When he fell down, he went down definitely tough. He also opted for a heavier crucifix, not the one particular we experienced utilized in the course of our rehearsals.
At one particular of the “falls”, he arrived down so challenging and the significant crucifix arrived tumbling along. You could hear the instantaneous shouts of “Jesus!”, “God!”, “Eish!”, “Wush”, “Stop it!” from the congregation. He groaned in soreness. He was no extended performing.
He appeared like a prevalent thief. There was absolutely nothing “priestly” about him. This was nothing at all like what we experienced rehearsed. And all of us understood the script experienced adjusted.
Every person was perplexed. It was not what we envisioned. And before long, the congregation started to complain, and they shouted at the young adult males to tone down the performing.
This was not what I signed-up for, I considered to myself. When it was our change, “the crying gals of Jerusalem”, the tears arrived obviously: “our ‘revered’ Priest had been minimized to nothing at all. When I had to say a line, it took a faucet from a co-actor to remind me we ended up still acting – I was also missing in the confusion.
People were murmuring and complaining about why a priest would allow that to come about to him and why we authorized him to acquire the part as if we had a choice. When he was put on the cross, he seemed so weak, so dejected, so lonely, so bruised, so weary, so hungry and he “died”. SILENCE! The silence was deafening!
We understood his position. We did not will need a reminder about the silence the Church preached about on Good Friday we had been silenced. It was obvious the Priest experienced accomplished his purpose.
We felt an iota of what it might have felt for Mary and the other followers who adopted Jesus in silence felt an iota of what it may well have felt for the Son of God to be reduced to a prevalent thief.
The shame He bore was unimaginable. My understanding of the Crucifixion of Christ improved eternally. It was my new Superior Friday, my new Easter!
Imagine Jesus. He was a strong preacher. He preached to multitudes. He experienced these kinds of a huge adhering to. He healed the unwell, lifted the useless. He spoke with so much wisdom. But when the appointed time arrived, He was alone, he was overwhelmed, insulted and rejected by the extremely people he introduced joy to. Much more profoundly, He is God himself. How downgrading! We could not stand our priest getting a minute fraction of that.
And I know most of you would not have behaved any in another way had it been your pastor or anyone you highly regarded.
Today, as we mark Easter absent from the bodily church, we should to try to remember that quite a few hundreds of several years in the past, God himself, He who was without having sin, arrived in the form of man and bore all our disgrace (Philippians 2:7). He is reaching out to us currently. Enable us heed his call. No sin is too big for him to carry. He does not need to have us to put items right with ourselves first. He enjoys us, just as we are.
The disgrace he bore surpasses any shame of sin we have. He is contacting us. He desires to carry our load for us “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11: 28). All our debt, has been paid absolutely nothing can undo that.
Now, much more than ever, in this interval of uncertainty, ailment, demise, confusion, He calls us to himself. All our fears, He has feared for us. He enjoys us so substantially. For this rationale, He died for us (John 3:16). We just have to believe him and he will get it all absent – sin, fear, uncertainty, weak point, any stress at all. Romans 10:9 states: “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and think in your coronary heart that God elevated him from the lifeless, you will be saved.”
How sweet this superior news! He loves you. He calls you currently, harden not your heart. He stands at the door and knocks, if you open the door to Him, He will appear in and dine with you (Revelation 3:20).
If we get this action, oh what a good joy there will be in heaven! Because you know what? He rose up from the lifeless.
Demise could not keep him captive (Romans 6: 9-10). He is asking us to increase up with him to a put of pleasure. And all our burdens taken care of. You do not have to have to go to church to receive Him you can receive him correct there in your residence. Oh, how sweet! Christ is risen! Halleluiah is our song.
The author is a lecturer at the Office of Communication Studies, UPSA.