Recent comments by presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann have stirred up the discussion about gay marriage once again. While speaking to a group of high school…
In my town, there are a lot of living nativity scenes every year. I don’t like them. I’ve blogged about before. There’s only one thing I can’t stand more than a living nativity.
A living crucifixion reenactment.
There are three in this county every year. I get my boxers in a wad about it every year. I want to drive by them every year and yell, “Get him down from there!”
I hate to say that they “offend” me. Everyone is offended these days. It takes so little to offend the modern mind. So, I’m not offended. I just run afoul of the fact that churches think that the gospel is being spread by putting middle-aged men on a cross so people can see them on there. In a world filled with suffering, what good does it do to see a picture of more suffering without explanation? People drive by without any idea why the Christ suffered. (more thoughts below)
I drove by this year and had one of my “oh, snap” moments, though. I did get offended. Severely offended. Good Friday should be seriously offensive to every Christian.
The day Christ went to Calvary, he went so willingly. In the Garden of Gethsemane, he asked that the cup of suffering would pass from him, but then said, “but not my will, but yours,” speaking of his father. Then, we willingly went to the cross, bore our sins and endured the wrath of God.
He bore my sins. My daily, sickening, evil, nasty sins. For me. So I would not have to endure the wrath of God. He stood in my place. I am offended by my own sin. My sin is offensive to me. It is offensive to God. And it was so offensive, He turned His back on His Son.
The name of “Good Friday” is filled with irony. It was a horrific day. An awful day. But it bought me redemption.
I’m not brought to remembrance of those things by seeing untanned modern men on a cross by the side of the road. I am reminded of it when I read Scripture. And the passerby who does not know needs to be told by a messenger. A messenger who understands the proclamation – “Go forth and preach to the nations.”
Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday are not days of reenactment. They are days of proclamation. Days of reflection. Resurrection Sunday in particular, is a day of celebration when we recall Jesus’ victory over sin and death once and for all.
So, I’ll ignore those who want to put on a play, I suppose. The words of the Bible are the way we remember. Christ revealed himself as the Word and it is in the word that we will find solace.
Additional thoughts on the living crucifixion scenes:
I just had a discussion with my friend about these scenes. His point was that these scenes might give passerby’s a notion to stop into the church and ask about Christ. The response? No, they don’t. They are about as helpful as cliché church signs. I was a member of a church that did living crucifixions and the pastor told me that they never had anyone visit who had seen the living crucifixion.
My friend also had a thought: “What if one person saw it and got saved?” Response – that’s an argument from pragmatism. It’s akin to the youth rally preacher who asks all the youth at the event to pray the sinners prayer and then says, “Anyone who prayed that prayer, come up front, you’re saved.” At times, I’ve heard of 400-800 kids responding. The reality? Less than 1% of the kids are saved. The rest have a false sense of security about their salvation. But the response of most is, “Well, but what if one kid got saved?” Our methods are poor.
On Good Friday at one of these living nativities, I saw forty church members there. What if those church members instead decided to share the gospel with their friends and loved ones directly? What if they decided to show the love of Christ to those around them? I guarantee a better result. A community filled with the love of Christ and changed lives.