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Easter with a flourish in Guatemala

We don’t really seem to pay much attention to Easter in America. I like the attention they pay to it in Guatemala. Here’s a report from Sarah Dager, one of our World Racers in Guatemala right now.Sarah reports:Holy Week (a Catholic holiday) has been an amazing experience. If you don’t know wha…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

We don’t really seem to pay much attention to Easter in America. I like
the attention they pay to it in Guatemala. Here’s a report from Sarah
Dager, one of our World Racers in Guatemala right now.


Sarah reports:

Holy Week (a Catholic holiday) has been an amazing experience. If you don’t know what Holy Week is, please
read the previous blog.

We woke up this morning (Good Friday) at 4 am to head into town for the early morning
processional.

We had no idea what we
were in for. We followed the crowd, through
the darkness into the large, soft yellow church adorned with beautiful white
carvings.

From every corner candles cast a glow over the proceedings. A band
played somber music as men in dark purple robes and white headdresses slowly
marched under the weight of an enormous float carrying fresh flowers and on
which there was a statue of Jesus carrying the cross.

The only word I can use for this experience is reverent as tears
blurred my vision, people spoke in hushed tones and slowly the processional
moved out of the church following Jesus.

So many thoughts rolled through my mind the biggest being how sorry I was
for nailing Jesus to the cross, how thankful I am for Him and how much I love
Him.

Other things hit me though, like how come we’ve only got Easter and
Christmas, just two days to celebrate the Messiah? Holy Week, 7 days long in which everyone
participates is a huge ordeal. Sunday
morning you awaken to cannons going off announcing the start of Holy Week. Out on the streets there is a flurry of
activity as people start decorating the roads in huge murals only to be
trampled on by yet another processional carrying Jesus and Mary. All through the night before Good Friday
families stay up decorating the streets outside their homes and
businesses. Decorating involves
pain-staking work in which murals emerge on the streets made of fresh flowers,
colored sawdust and sand in vibrant colors depicting Christ on the cross,
religious symbols and all kinds of intricate designs.

Out on the street Roman soldiers complete with silver helmets, shields
and spears ride solemnly by making sure to go around the many murals lining the
center of each street because today is an extra special day, the day Jesus was
crucified. Pontius Pilate rode by in his
chariot, as did many young men carrying signs that decreed Christ was to be
crucified. Hundreds of men and boys
dressed in purple robes filed past many swinging golden lanterns burning with
incense.


Finally the Jesus float
descends on us. The best murals are
lining the streets today and are saved for the people carrying Jesus to walk
on. It is a sight like no other I’ve
seen before.


Five hundred thousand people pour into Antigua to be a part of this
week. They celebrate the death of Jesus
and His resurrection and yet they don’t fully understand what Christ did for
them. This week many will “pay” for
their sins through different acts of service.
They don’t know that Jesus died on the cross, taking on all our sin and
that we can do nothing on our own to enter heaven.

When we die, when we see God, we must show Him Jesus’ blood on our
hands. Jesus Christ is the only way to
God. As believers, shouldn’t we be
giving God more of ourselves, then those who worship Jesus during Holy Week but
don’t really understand the significance of Christ’s death?

“…Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger
here; see my hands. Reach out your hand
and put it into my side. Stop doubting
and believe.’ Thomas said, ‘My Lord and
my God!’

Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed;
blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’

Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples,
which are not recorded in this book. But
these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of
God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” -John 26b-31

Christ has risen. He has RISEN
indeed!

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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