Good Friday

Today is Good Friday, a day many Christians observe.  It commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary.  It was the day Jesus was brought before the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate who after examining Him, declared that he found Him not guilty of anything deserving of death. 

When Pilate learned that Jesus was from Galilee, Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Jesus to him.  Herod with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked [Him], arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate (Luke 23:11).  Pilate told the assembly that neither he nor Herod found Jesus guilty but the religious leaders were adamant so Pilate had Jesus whipped thirty-three times and was willing to let Him go but the people called for Him to be crucified.  During Passover a prisoner is released and it is believed that Pilate was hoping to release Jesus but the Jewish leaders called for Barabbas, a criminal to be released instead.  Pilate washed his hands of the whole matter and handed Jesus over to the authorities.

Jesus was taken to Golgotha, the Skull where He was hung on a cross between two thieves.  At 3 o’clock on Friday afternoon, He died.  He was taken down from the cross. Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member asked Pilate for Jesus’ body and after his request was granted, he took the body and he and Nicodemus, the man who had visited Jesus one night, wrapped the body in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.  They laid Him in a new tomb in the garden.  No one had lain in that tomb before.  There Jesus laid until He rose early Sunday morning.

Many Christians spend Good Friday fasting, in prayer, repentance, and meditation on the agony and suffering of Christ on the cross.  Others attend church services.  Some people abstain from eating meat and eat fish instead.  The Catholics observe the Stations of the Cross and  Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ.

You may wonder what is good about Good Friday.  Here is one answer:  Yet, despite—indeed because of—its sadness, Good Friday is truly good. Its sorrow is a godly sorrow. It is like the sadness of the Corinthians who wept over the sharp letter from their dear teacher, Paul, convicted of the sin in their midst. Hearing of their distress, Paul said, “My joy was greater than ever.” Why? Because such godly sorrow “brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret” (2 Cor. 7:10).

However you decide to observe this day, remember these precious words, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).  Glorify God for His goodness and mercy.  Thank Him for His most precious gift to you–His Son.

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