Good Friday is the day that commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It falls before Easter and is observed as a day of sorrow, penance, and fasting. As per the Christians, Good Friday is referred to as being ‘good’ because Jesus died for the sins of mankind. This year, Good Friday will be observed on 7th April. It is also known as ‘God’s Friday’, ‘Holy Friday’ or the ‘Black Friday”. The day will be followed by Easter on 9th April, when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Keep reading to know more about Good Friday’s history, holiday, and observance.
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What is Good Friday?
The New Testament in the Bible states that Jesus Christ was crucified at a place outside Jerusalem called Golgotha. In Aramaic Golgotha is also referred to as the ‘place of the skull’. The day commemorates the day when Jesus was crucified. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Good Friday is a ‘’ day or season observed as holy by the church’’.
Why is it called Good Friday?
Good Friday is called ‘good’ because of several reasons. Jesus couldn’t have been resurrected without dying on the cross. The resurrection marks the victory over death and sin and the celebration of Easter. Moreover, it is believed that Jesus died for the sins of mankind. Hence, by dying on the cross he has attained salvation for mankind. As per the Baltimore Catechism, the standard US Catholic school text from 1885 to the 1960s ‘’ Christ showed his great love from a man and purchased for him every blessing’’.
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The Story of Good Friday
According to the Bible, the Jewish religious leaders condemned Jesus to be crucified for referring to himself as the ‘Son of God’. Jews considered it to be blasphemy. However, they did not have the authority to confer death sentences on anyone. Hence, they brought Jesus to the Romans. Jesus was sent to Pontius Pilate who sent him to King Herod. Jesus was Galilean and was under Herod’s jurisdiction. Hence, this decision was made.
King Herod expected to see some miracle from Jesus. When Jesus did not perform any miracle for Herod he was sent back to Pontius Pilate who then offered the choice between Jesus and Barabas to the people. It was a custom to release a prisoner that day. However, the people chose the release of Barabas and the crucifixion of Christ.
When Pontius Pilate found out that a riot was about to happen he washed his hands stating ‘’I am innocent of this man’s blood. See it for yourselves’’.
Crucifixion was one of the highest forms of criminal punishment. Jesus was then beaten, forced to carry a heavy cross among the crowd and was finally nailed to the cross by his wrists and feet, where he was hung until he died that day.
When was Good Friday Established?
Good Friday is one of the oldest Christian holidays and has been observed since 100 CE. The day has been observed with fasting since the fourth century CE.
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How is Good Friday Observed?
Good Friday is observed with fasting and praying. People from several countries observe the anniversary of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and death. Christians attend a mass or holy service on this day to recount the crucifixion of Christ. Some people refrain from eating to show their sorrow. Catholic churches strip their altars bare and cover the Church bells as a sign of mourning.
Church services are held around noon or midday to 3 pm. Many churches re-enact the procession of the cross as the rituals for the stations of the cross. Processions are held in countries such as India, Italy, Malta, Spain, and the Philippines.
Handmade Kites are flown in Bermuda to symbolize the cross where Jesus died and his ascension into heaven. The custom has been practiced since the 19th century. Churches in Belgium and Mexico are covered with black cloth. A general day of sadness can be seen in the towns and villages. In Poland, many Christians fast on dry bread and roasted potatoes. Decorating the egg is also a part of the Easter preparations.
The day is followed by Easter. Soon Christians turn to happier festivities. As Easter celebrates the resurrection of Christ.
Good Friday Quote
Good Friday is a day that commemorates the death of Jesus Christ on the Calvary. The day is called ‘good’ because it ultimately led to the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Thus, Easter is celebrated on the following Sunday.
Good Friday is a sad day. In German, it is called Karfreitag, or the Sorrowful Friday.
No. Good Friday is not a day to greet each other. Hence, it would be wrong to say Happy Good Friday.
Good Friday is a sorrowful day that commemorates the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. The day is observed worldwide as a day of mourning. In several countries, it is a holiday. It will be followed by Easter or the resurrection of Christ. To discover more articles like this visit Leverage Edu.