SEVEN LAST WORDS OF JESUS: Introduction
The Easter celebration is a high holiday for amaZioni churches. This may be the only time of year Zionists gather as whole congregations filling homesteads or even halls for fellowship and worship. South African media warns people to stay off the road from Thursday before Easter because millions of Zionists begin to migrate around the country to the venue of their denomination to gather for three days of services and fellowship. Easter services may involve numerous activities, some specific to that community, and others like making the trek up the hill to the cross, ladies marching to the tomb to find it empty. It may be a Biblical service, the theology of which you would entirely agree. For others, it will involve these and other traditional practices, which are fear-driven to appease God, ancestors and other forces and apparitions affecting their lives. But traditionally, the Zion church acknowledges the Bible as the Word of God. The cross, the tomb, and remembering Jesus are what most amaZioni Easter services have in common. These involve much singing and dancing, preaching and baptizing. And very many Zion churches focus the weekend on the 7 last words of Jesus.
Easter is the busiest time of year for ZEMA missionaries. There are more opportunities than is physically possible to participate in. At these Zion services, we enjoy these opportunities to share God’s Word, remember Jesus, and proclaim Good News that He will bring us into His Kingdom because of His life, death, and resurrection! As Easter approaches, through this “Seven Last Words of Jesus” series, we’d like to share with you thoughts of Jesus and favorite pictures and opportunities we’ve enjoyed at Zion Easter services through the years.