Well, Lent is in full swing and in case you’re not Catholic and unsure of what it is, I’ll tell you. Apparently, some other Christian religions also observe Lent, but I don’t know which ones they are and don’t really care because I’m not down with Lent. For the believer, it’s the practice of prayer and penitence, self-denial and repentance. Oops, you lost me at self-denial.
All I know is that as a kid, we were told to give up something we liked and we had to eat fish on Friday, and I hate fish. Kids would give up stuff like candy and soda but I never stuck to mine. I treated it no differently than my New Year’s resolutions.
These 40 days of self-denial and no candy leads up to Holy week which includes Good Friday. Of course, you know what Good Friday is; when Jesus had the crap beaten out of him and was forced to hang on the cross for three hours. Three hours? Jesus Christ! That must be how people started saying “Jesus Christ!” as an exclamation. Did you see that Jew hater, Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ?”
Wait, first let me trash Mel Gibson for a second. He is such an asshole! A racist, rude, abusive, disgusting scumbag! Okay good, I feel better now.
I was talking to a friend about that movie the other day and what a massive hit it was when it came out, and I remember my boyfriend at the time wanted to see it and I asked incredulously, “Why?”
I couldn’t believe it. In fact, I couldn’t believe so many people were interested in seeing it. I thought everyone knew that story. Well, I was wrong, and I know the story so well, of course, thanks to 10 years of Catholic school, that I remember thinking, “Why would I want to go see a film version of a horrible story where Jesus gets almost beaten to death and then is forced to hang on a cross with nails hammered through his hands and feet for three hours in the hot sun. I also knew Hollywood would make it graphic and bloody and gruesome (and I was right), and I just didn’t want to see it because when I finally was old enough to understand the story of what happened to Jesus, it made me sad.
Every Lent for eight years of Catholic school, we would spend three hours in church on Friday doing the Stations of the Cross. There was a lot of praying and kneeling involved…and of course, a lot of laughing, and we all know church laughter is the worst. There were times I was laughing so hard I thought my head would explode, which would have been a lot more fun than the Stations of the Cross. Here they are:
- Jesus is condemned to death
- Jesus accepts the cross
- Jesus falls the first time
- Jesus meets his Mother
- Simon of Cyrene carries the cross
- Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
- Jesus falls the second time
- Jesus meets the women of jerusalem
- Jesus falls the third time
- Jesus is stripped of His garments
- Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
- Jesus dies on the cross
- Jesus’ body is removed from the cross
- Jesus is laid in the tomb and covered in incense
Isn’t that horrible? Poor Jesus. And this brutal treatment was done to save us? Jesus died for our sins? Does that make any sense to you, because I’ve never quite understood that. So, naturally I googled that question: How did Jesus dying save us from our sins?
This was a random answer I found while googling:
“God sent Jesus on this earth to die on the cross for us. Jesus took all of our sins, and took our punishment that we should have receiven. Instead of us being on that cross, Jesus loved us soooooo much, that He did it for us. BUT, we can only go to Heaven and be saved if we believe on Him, repent of our sin and know how awful we are, and accept God’s free gift of salvation. Jesus took my sin, your sin, and everyone’s sin on Him, because He loved us so much!!!!”
Whoever wrote this answer doesn’t seem too bright, is “receiven” a word? But this is the basic idea, right? This is what people believe, right? It has never made sense to me. I don’t understand how Jesus dying is really doing any good for anybody. What does “dying for our sins” even mean and how does that help us?
Just because you believe in Jesus doesn’t mean you’re going to heaven, if there even is a heaven, and if there is a heaven there better be a buffet! What if you’re a mean person but you believe in Jesus? Would God want you in heaven if you’re mean? I don’t’ think so. What if you’re a really nice person, but you don’t believe in God? Do you think God would let you in heaven anyway? I do. But who knows? If Jesus saved us, why is there a hell? Did he only save some of us? Am I going to hell? Sometimes I think we’re already there. Anyway, I don’t really buy it. But I like Jesus and all his “teachings.” Jesus was all about being nice to everyone, and more importantly, he could turn water into wine! Why would you kill that guy? That’s the guy you want at all your parties. Stupid humans.
I can see how religion can really drive people over the edge with all the fear, guilt and suffering that’s attached to strict religious practices. Forget it, I’d rather go to hell. In fact, I know someone who truly was driven over the edge, and of course, he was a regular at our church, St. Alice. Tune in tomorrow so you can read about CrAzY MiKe!
Just a side note: Did you ever notice that the people in the Bible have no last names…it’s always “Jesus of Nazareth” or “Simon of Cyrene” or “John the Baptist” . Although I think that’s weird, from now on I want you to start calling me “Celeste of NoHo” (short for North Hollywood)
Have a blessed day! 🙂