Home > Gospel > easter, minus the good news

easter, minus the good news

Around the world Christians of every stripe and variety are stopping the week to celebrate Easter – to remember Christ’s crucifixion and, come Sunday, his glorious resurrection from death.

One of my favorite photo blogs, The Big Picture, featured photos of Holy Week celebrations from around the world:

. . . . . . .

Some of the photos are absolutely shocking:


A man, carrying a bundle of cactus on his shoulders in penance during Holy Week in Taxco, Mexico. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)


Filipino flagellants kneel as they perform rites meant to atone for sins at San Fernando city, Pampanga province, northern Philippines on Maundy Thursday. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)


A Catholic devotee has his hands nailed on the cross as part of reenacting Christ's suffering on the cross during a Passion play as part of a religious ritual during Easter celebrations in a village in San Fernando, Pampanga, north of Manila. (JES AZNAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Christians bearing thorn laden cacti across bare shoulders; coarse spines piercing skin, muscle, fat, veins. Blood flowing down backs, soaking garments.

Leather splitting skin, forming gnarled, twisting scars.  Bodies stained crimson from self inflicted wounds.

Hands and feet lanced by cold steel, pounded through bone and cartilege with hammers.  Blood flows mingled down, dripping to the earth, forming tiny pools of bloody mud.

Penance. Flagellation. Suffering. Self-Atonement.

. . . . . . .

Christian, Easter is a time to remember Christ‘s finished work on the cross – his suffering, his payment for sin, the forgiveness he purchased for sinners by his sacrificial death on the cross.

Christian, don’t remember Easter through your own self-inflicted suffering, penance, and feeble attempts to “atone” for your own sin.

Christian, don’t remember Easter by “sacrificing your time” and “going to church” out of moral obligation in an attempt to make God “happy” with you.

Christian, don’t dishonor Christ by adding anything to his sacrificial death.

To do any of these things, to attempt add any work, human effort, penance, anything to the good news of the gospel is to celebrate Easter, minus the good news.

  1. April 10, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Amen! Good word Lee and/or Beth.

  2. Brandon
    April 11, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Yes. I second Chuck’s comment.

    I’m thankful Christ took that on himself, that his people don’t have to.

  3. thepruetts
    April 11, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Well said . . .

  4. April 12, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    I came across your blog from the Pitts’ links. I must say this post has blessed me. What a great, encouraging reminder of HIS provision. Thanks.

  5. Justin
    February 18, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Wow. This is shocking. The 2nd picture has been apparently taken down, but i still get the gist. Good words man. i’m going to store this away as great sermon illustration material.

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