Every year during Easter season, Filipinos used to celebrate “Semana Santa” or the Holy Week. Most people think that it is a time for reflection and payment of sins. This is why some people hurt themselves thinking that every whip they make on themselves can pay the sins they made in the past year. They call it “penitensya” or penitence.

But what does the Bible say about payment of sin?

Hebrews 9:26-28 (NIV) says, “Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

This simply means that there is only one blood needed to pay for our sins, and that’s the blood of Jesus which He already did 2000 years ago. Furthermore, Paul emphasized that it is “NOT” by works that we have been saved but by grace of God through faith.

Clearly, there is no biblical basis of this tradition. It is purely tradition made by men with a mixture of animism.

What’s wrong with this tradition?

First, even the Roman Catholic Church itself doesn’t recommend doing it. They also agree that it is not the right way to celebrate Jesus’ death.

Secondly, why do they need to drink alcohol to avoid the pain when they are supposed to suffer for pain as self infliction?

Finally, the Bible say that it is only the blood of Christ that can pay for our sins and not by anyone else.

Things to look forward to…

I think, it is far better to celebrate the Holy Week by fasting and praying accompanied by the reading of God’s word and meditating on it.

Hurting yourself to pay for your sins will never do you anything good but a self-centered personal opinon that you already have paid for it.

Stop hurting yourself. Pray and meditate. Reflect on things that God gave you for the past year. Thank Him and praise Him from the bottom of your heart. Thank Him for what He did at the cross of Calvary and be forever satisfied on the peace and blessings that you can only find in Him.

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