blue_crucifixion_crossMany churches will be participating in Tenebrae Services this week. Although I suspected that this tradition is rooted in Roman Catholicism, Carla at More Books and Things  provides the history, practice, and links for additional research.

It is a worthy piece of research to review and to understand in what you might be participating.

As I struggle with the remnants of Roman Catholicism that the protestant church insists on preserving; I am nagged by the thought,

What is wrong with remembering Christ’s suffering during the week of His Crucifixion and Resurection?

The best answer I can offer (and also Carla’s conclusion) is that these are formal traditions created by man with the carnal desire to achieve a level of holiness and worthiness of Christ’s Crucfixion.

Traditions are not evil but  they have no “salvation” value. Again, agreeing with Carla, it is where I draw my line in the sand — many, many brothers and sisters in Christ died to free me from the bondage of traditions and ‘man-centered works to achieve salvation’ before, during, and after the Reformation. Why would I want to return to them?

My ‘rememberance’ of the days leading up to the Crucifixion and Ressurection is an act of personal obedience.

I am overwhelmed with the rememberance of what God did through His Son for my eternal benefit.

I am brought to my knees with the acknowledgement of what my daily sin costed the Son of God.

I am reminded that I cannot save myself (as much as I may try) and to reduce and hand-over that POWER (the same POWER which raised Christ from the dead) to a tradition is blasphemy of the highest degree.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes . . . (Romans 1:16).

MacArthur’s study notes: The Greek translation of ‘power’ is the english word for ‘dynamite’. Only God’s power is able to overcome man’s sinful nature and give him new life

that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:10, 11)