For most people across the world, Easter week came and went without a hitch, with many families spending quality time together to worship. But one public celebration in Guatemala did not go quite as well as planned. A video has gone viral showing an actor dressed as Jesus Christ falling from the cross and onto the street in the middle of a crucifixion reenactment.
According to the Huffington Post, the incident took place on Good Friday in the town of Santa Barbara, Suchitepequez. The event was intended to be a recreation of the Biblical story wherein Jesus Christ is crucified on the cross. The demonstration is called “la actividad de los judíos,” which can be loosely translated to “the activity of the Jews.” Unfortunately for those watching and those involved, the meaningful tribute turned into a near tragedy. Hundreds of spectators watched in horror as the likeness of Jesus Christ fell four meters from the top of a wooden cross.
The actor playing Jesus initially climbed to the top of the cross on a ladder with the assistance of another man. As part of the demonstration, Jesus Christ was supposed to be strapped to the cross and left to hang there on display. But almost immediately after the ladder was removed, the Jesus actor was unable to stay secure on the flimsy scaffolding, which was only supported by a few ropes. The cross teetered and Jesus Christ fell fast to the ground. Fortunately, the actor was able to grip one of the ropes on the way down, slowing his descent considerably.
Certain news outlets reported that the man playing Jesus Christ was not injured during the fall, but nothing has been confirmed for certain. It does not appear that the actor hit the ground especially hard, but many of the audience members witnessing the reenactment rushed to his side to see if he was okay. The video does not reveal any aftermath. The original video caption claims the height of the cross may actually have been higher than four meters.
Since the frightening footage of Jesus Christ falling from the cross hit Facebook, it has amassed thousands of views and comments, and many thousands more on YouTube. It was originally shared by a Facebook page titled “Operaciones especiales México.”
Though the image of a religious messiah like Jesus Christ taking a tumble could be shocking and offensive to some, that didn’t stop several Facebook viewers from making light of the situation with some altered images from the video.
Commenters on YouTube left a number of irreverent jokes as well, with multiple users saying something to the effect of, “They don’t make nails the way they used to.”
One Facebook commenter noted that the cross itself is much too high, both for general safety precautions and in comparison to typical representations of the crucifixion. He observed that the wooden structure might, in fact, be a telephone pole that was re-purposed into a cross. Either way, it appears that whoever planned the reenactment did not take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of their representation of Jesus Christ, especially since he appeared to only be clinging to the cross with his own strength.
However, one tradition in the Philippines involves actors portraying Jesus Christ and actually being nailed onto a cross in an attempt to recreate the suffering endured by the Biblical savior. Others walk the streets and willingly whip themselves in the back with bamboo sticks to mimic the brutality Jesus faced before the crucifixion. Read more here.
[Photos via Facebook]