Saturday, April 04, 2015

Opinion : Why Crucifixion Rites Should Be Stopped by Filipino Devotees

Every Good Friday,Filipino Devotees performs extreme ritual or penitence by means of crucifixion as a form of commemorating Jesus Christ's death at Calvary.

Screaming in pain, the Devotees with 'Jesus' like clothes will carry wooden crosses, crawling on rough pavement and do self-flagellation.

Some locals were dressed as Roman Soldiers and yet an amount of alcohol applied on their feet and hands then, the crucifixion scene will follow in front of huge crowd.The crucified devotee will then outer Jesus's 10 last words as the last part of reenactment.

[Our Lord uttered memorable words from the cross, including “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (23:43), as well as John 19:26, Matt. 27:46, Mark 15:34, John 19:28, Luke 23:46, and John 19:30 (“It is finished.”).]

Jesus Christ crucifixion image via Telegrah

They were lowered from the crosses and medical workers carried the devotees on stretchers and made sure there were no complications from their injuries (way too different from ancient crucifixions were the crucified body were usually left to decay on the cross).

They considered these acts to be undergone for atonement of their sins, to fulfill a panata (vow) or to express gratitude for favors granted. So,is these really biblical?

We'll answers that question later.

But do you know where the crucifixion originated?

History of Crucifixion

Crucifixion was not only one of the most disgraceful forms of death, it was one of the most dreaded methods of execution in the ancient world. Accounts of crucifixions

are recorded among early civilizations, most likely originating with the Persians and then spreading to the Assyrians, Scythians, Carthaginians, Germans, Celts,

Britons and Romans. This type of capital punishment was primarily reserved for traitors, captive armies, slaves and the worst of criminals. Crucifixion became common under the rule of Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.).

There were numerous methods of performing execution.Most the time, the condemned man, after being tortured by scourging, they stripped his clothing, bound fast with

outstretched arms to the crossbeam or nailed firmly to it through the wrist.Similar to Jesus Christ's crucifixion, over head was placed a notice stating his name and

his crime. Death, apparently caused by exhaustion, heart failure or loss of blood. Sometime the could be hastened by shattering the legs (crurifragium) with an iron club, so that shock and asphyxiation soon ended his life.

Crucifixion was most frequently used to punish political or religious agitators, pirates, slaves, or those who had no civil rights. In 519 bce Darius I, king of Persia, crucified 3,000 political opponents in Babylon; in 88 Alexander Jannaeus, the Judaean king and high priest, crucified 800 Pharisaic opponents; and about 32  Pontius Pilate had Jesus of Nazareth put to death by crucifixion.

Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor, abolished it in the Roman Empire in the early 4th century out of veneration for Jesus Christ, the most famous victim of crucifixion.[Britannica]

Are Jewish also practicing Crucifixion?

No. The Jewish are not practicing Crucifixion as same mode of capital punishment. Although the Sanhedrin, the ruling council of the Jewish people are ones who condemned Jesus to put him to death in the grounds of blasphemy without due trials, Pilate gave the order for Jesus to be crucified and entrusted this task to be carried out by a Roman centurion, a trusted and proven commander of 100 Roman soldiers. The bible tells that before Romans had colonized Israel, the Jewish people follows the Mosaic law were convicted criminals and heathens being punished by the sword (Exodus 21), strangling, fire (Lev. 20), and stoning (Deut. 21).

Filipino Roman Catholic devotee grimaces in pain as he is nailed and being brought down on a cross during the a re-enactment of the Crucifixion of Christ during Good Friday celebrations ahead of Easter in the village of Santa Lucia, Pampanga, north of Manila on April 18, 2014.  AFP PHOTO/NOEL CELIS (Photo credit should read NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)

10 Reasons why Crucifixion should be put away by Devotees

1. You are not God who can save the world. Crucifixion was done by Jesus Christ to save human kind of sure capital punishment from the God the father's wrath. Jesus Christ paid our sins at the cross of calvary. His.His precious blood washed away our sins and his Resurrection a proof that his really a God.Jesus is sinless, 100 percent human and 100 percent God.

2. Crucifixion is the most disgraceful forms of death. As we've mentioned, Crucifixion is an old times form of capital punishment for heinous criminals, heathens, and traitors.Note that, crucifixion is also a symbol of injustice to Christ and even to slaves who are not given the chance to live but condemned to death without clean trials.

3. Fake crucifixion equals hypocrisy. Why you keep getting crucified every year? Is that of birthday celebration? Jesus only crucified and died once.That's enough for us to commemorate. Prayer and supplication is the best way to commemorate him. Loving your neighbors, friends and family everyday is also a good fruit of being a true Christian.Although Jesus Crucifixion is the symbol of Christianity, the act can be considered as brutal and gruesome.

4.  Self-harming is unbiblical. Catholics Church leaders keep condemning crucifixion as an acts of Folk Catholicism as self-harming alone contradicts their official teachings.Well, that's true. The bible tells us that once we accept Christ as our savior then, our body becomes the temple of Holy Ghost. This means that we must take care of our body, we must not harm and destroy the temple by any means (vice, tattooing, abuse)

5. Crucifixion will not vindicate you. All of us are sinners and fall come short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23 said. The bible teach us that in order to be forgiven we must accept that we are a sinner and accept Jesus Christ as our savior.Jesus Christ already crucified for us to be saved. Remember, no any religion or by good acts or sacrifice can save you.In the old times, Jewish people uses burnt offerings to pay for their sins or make an offering for God but that was applicable for all.Remember, how about the Gentiles like us Filipinos? We don't have much cattle to offer and we are not the chosen people of God to do that past rituals too. That's why Christ offered his body to be killed so the law will be fulfilled and all of the least fortunate, wretched people will have the chance to be saved.

6. To fulfill a panata(vow) or to express gratitude for favors granted.Again this not biblical.Real Christians should read and follow the bible for it's the commandment of God. The Lord said if you love me you will follow my commandments. The bible urged us to offer our body as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1), and we are required to present it acceptable to God,as spiritual service of worship.This means serving the LORD by offering our strenght, talents,and time for him is what God is asking us to do. He did not requires us to do extreme acts to worship or to thank him. All He wants us is to vow and serve him as the only God.

You don't need to be tortured to find God.

7. Distraction of Faith. Personally we see crucifixion rites as a distraction to Christians faith. You see how those people around are making money out of it by media publicity and the local government is noodling for tourism purposes.Some find it entertaining and believed it should be patronized for Christ's sake.Is Christ really the center of your Holy Week penitence?

Sources: GotQuestion, Nypost,Britannica,Telegraph,ChristianAnswers, Wikipedia

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