Good Friday-30thMar, 2018
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History of Good FridayHistory of Good Friday
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History of Good Friday

To commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his demise at Calvary, Good Friday is celebrated as a Christian religious holiday. The holiday happens during Holy Week and is considered as a part of Paschal Triduum on the Friday that comes before Easter Sunday. Good Friday is also known as Black Friday, Great Friday, or Holy Friday. Good Friday is a national holiday in many countries around the world, especially in the Anglican and Catholic nations. This solemn day is observed by fasting and then with sombre processions.

Historical Significance of Good Friday -

The celebration of Good Friday dates back to the 4th century by Egeria. This ancient practice denotes time of self-punishment and fasting on the death anniversary of the Christ. Nomenclature of "Good Friday" is derived from "God's Friday," although the correct reason for this kind of name is still not known.

Arrest of Jesus –

As per the documents in the Gospels, the Temple Guards were protected by the Jesus' disciple Judas Iscariot; in the Garden of Gethsemane he then arrests Jesus. In exchange, Judas was rewarded with money, 30 pieces of silver was his reward to betray Jesus. After the arrest, Jesus was forcibly brought to the house of Annas, (the father-in-law of the high priest, Caiaphas), who then interrogated Christ but could not get satisfactory answers. He was then taken into captivity by Caiaphas, who was the high priest where the Sanhedrin had gathered.

Jesus – The Son of God

There were many conflicting testimonies against Jesus along with many witnesses, and Jesus remained numb to all this. Then, the high priests made Jesus undertake the solemn oath, saying "I adjure you, by the Living God, to tell us, are you the Anointed One, the Son of God?" Jesus accepted the witness obscurely, "You have said it, and in time you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Almighty, coming on the clouds of Heaven." That day the Sanhedrin brought upon the sentence of death as the high priest condemned Jesus for sacrilege. Peter also did not stand as a well-wisher and also denied Jesus three times to onlookers. The interrogations went on just like Jesus had predicted.

Pilate’s Judgement –

Next day morning, Jesus was brought to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate by the assembly under charges of destabilizing the nation, refusing taxes to Caesar, and claiming himself as a king. Pilate directed the Jewish leaders to review according to their own law. However, the final word was the death sentence. Jewish leaders were not ready to let out the death sentence as the Romans restricted this right on Jews. Pilate then questioned Jesus and informed the assembly that the death sentence was not justified. He further learned that Jesus was from Galilee, and that led him to take over the case to the ruler of Galilee, King Herod.

"Crucify Him" -

Herod also questioned Jesus but did not get any answer; and then send him back to Pilate. Pilate confirmed the assembly that neither he nor Herod had found Jesus guilty. He proposed of just whipping Jesus and released him. The chief priests and the crowd called for the Barabbas, who was in the prison for murdering during an insurrection. Pilate was surprised and asked what relation they had with Jesus? And the crowd demanded, "Crucify him". Pilate's wife dreamt of Jesus previous night and she already warned him not to harm this righteous man. Somehow, Pilate elbowed Jesus out from the crowd to release him. The chief priests got enraged and demanded Pilate to get Jesus be sentenced to death only "because he claimed to be God's son." Pilate got puzzled and also afraid; he brought in Jesus into his palace and asked him from where he belonged.

The Death Sentence –

On knowing the answer, Pilate again faced the crowd and confirmed that Jesus was innocent and washed his own hands in water to prove that he was not involved in this criticism. However, Pilate handed over Jesus to the crowd to get crucified as he feared that a riot would start up anytime. Jesus has his cross with him to the site of execution and was accompanied by Simon of Cyrene. The sentence mentioned "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" and the execution site was said to be the "place of the Skull", or "Golgotha". He was crucified there along with two criminals.

The Lord Let Go His Soul –

Jesus suffered on the cross for long six hours and during his last three hours on the Cross, he had seen darkness fell over the entire land. His last words were "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Jesus gave up his spirit with a loud cry, followed by natural disasters like earthquake, curtains in the temple tore off, and the tombs broke open. The centurion who was on guard at the site of crucifixion said in himself, "Truly this was God's Son!" Joseph of Arimathea, who was a member of the Sanhedrin and revered Jesus, requested Pilate for his body. Nicodemus, another follower of Jesus helped wrap the body of Jesus. Pilate wanted to confirm if Jesus was dead and a soldier pierced the side of Jesus showing that blood was oozing out and thus Jesus was dead. This is the sad history of Good Friday; after the Jewish burial customs Shabbat began at the sunset. On the third day from this day Easter Sunday (or Pascha) is celebrated and the followers believe that on this day, Jesus rose from the dead.

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