Holy Week is a huge deal in Spain. Go here for a quick overview before proceeding. :) http://granadamap.com/santa/
We've been told in our culture class that thousands of tourists come to Granada for this event. The streets are always packed and the processions are the main attraction. Our culture teacher did a good job of preparing us for what Granada was going to be like this past week.
I wanted to go to one of these processions to experience it for myself. I took the three interns (Gaby, Sarah, and Grace) and we decided to attend the Silence Procession the night before last. Because things don't start until late at night, I didn't pick up the other gals until 11:00pm. We grabbed a quick supper (yummy shawarmas) and headed downtown. We parked on a side street about 10 minutes from the center and walked to find a place to wait for the float to pass by. We were fortunate enough to find a great spot on a main street and didn't move so that we could get good pictures and stuff.
We waited there about and hour and a half. Then all of the sudden the lights of the street turned off and we knew that shortly the procession would go by. I was amazed at the number of people involved. Men, women, children - it was a hard to guess how many were actually involved. Easily 100 or more in total. I had mixed emotions about it all. It was sad, intriguing, idolatrous, inspiring, reminiscent, fascinating, exciting, chilling, moving, empty, overwhelming, train wreck-ish, final.
For the most part the crowd was silent. The streets got dark to represent the death of Jesus and when the float arrived carrying "Jesus" I was impacted by the reverence and solemnity of the crowd. Some of those in the procession were dragging chains and crosses and were barefoot, meaning that they, in their personal lives, felt that they needed to suffer to go along with Jesus' suffering. This was the saddest part for me -- to know there is a "life option" yet so many continue to choose shame and death.
And that's what impacted me the most. As I took in the whole event happened as I compared it to my own life, I was surprised at the similarities. I was watching a real-life portrayal of my own heart/mind/soul.
I compare myself to others. Pride creeps into my heart and my words. Jesus' suffering becomes all about me instead of all about His Glory. I shackle myself again to flashbacks of things I've said or done. I worry. I doubt. I second-guess. I fear. I trudge along burdened and heavy. How many times have I, Rebekah, chosen chains of shame and guilt when Christ offers life.
Pure life. Abundant life. Eternal life.
Matthew 27: 51-52 "At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life."
Jesus' death brought instant life.
And from that moment forward Jesus' business has been all about bringing life to the dead or dying. Pray for me, for those of us working here, that we might be life-reflectors of Christ to those who are dying without him.