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Good Friday precedes Easter Sunday. It is a day when Christians ponder on the passion of the Chris, his suffering and agonising death on the cross for the salvation of humans. Many Christians observe this day in solemnity with prayer and supplication, fasting and repentance, as well as meditating on the agony and pain Jesus Christ suffered on Calvary's Cross. On Good Friday, Christians meditate on the accounts of Christ's death. As it is written in Bible, Jesus Christs, the Nazarene, and his disciples had observed the Passover or Last Supper before going to the Garden of Gethsemane. It was there, that Jesus spent his last hours praying to God his father, while his disciples slept nearby. (Matthew 236:39, NIV). At the time of Christ's death, death by crucifixion was one of the most feared and agonising forms of execution. But Jesus Christ's death surpassed an idea even worse than crucifixion, in the sense that his death symbolically took on the sins and iniquities of all humans for all generations to come, so that even those who had passed would be able to hear the Gospel and be able to choose eternal salvation or eternal condemnation. The events leading to Christ's death began with Jesus been wrongfully arrested by accusations made by the Sanhedrin that he was blaspheming by proclaiming himself as the son and the coming son of Man who was to judge the world. This claim was viewed as blasphemous since the Jews believed that G-d alone is sovereign Judge. Consequently, before the break of dawn, Jesus was arrested. At the break of dawn, he was interrogated by the Sanhedrin and sentenced to death. But the Jewish leaders needed permission from the Roman authorities to execute their sentence. However, when Jesus was taken to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, he found him innocent of all the charges made against him. Pontius Pilate found out that Jesus Christ was from Galilee, which jurisdiction was under King Herod. So, he referred the case to King Herod. But when Jesus was brought before Kin Herod, he refused to answer the questions King Herod posed to him. So, Jesus was sent back to Pontius Pilate and was sentenced to death.
Jesus was brutally beaten, scorned and struck on the head with a staff. He was spat on. He was ridiculed with a crown made on thorns placed on his head. He was undressed to his bare skin. He was charged with carrying his own cross, but when he grew weak, Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry it for him. Jesus was taken to Calvary, where Roman soldiers nailed him to a cross with stake-like nails in his wrists and ankles with an inscription that read: "King of the Jews" on his head. It is believed that Jesus Christ remained hanged on the cross for approximately six hours until he died. While on the cross, Roman soldiers drew a sweepstake for his clothes, and onlookers shouted insults and jeered at him. After the death of Christ, it is said that darkness engulfed the land, and an earthquake shook the ground and caused the curtain in the Temple to rip in half from top to bottom. It was Roman custom for soldiers to break a criminal's leg to initiate a quicker death, though only thieves had their legs broken. When the Roman soldiers went to Jesus, he was already dead. in the wake of the evening, Jospeh Arimathea (with the help from Nicodemus) removed Jesus' corpse from the cross and had him buried in a tomb. A humongous stone was rolled to the entry of the tomb to enclose it.
The Christians believe that God is holy, and humans are sinful, and holiness and sin are incompatible, and in this way, human are separated from God. Thus, the punishment for sin is death for eternity. No substitutes could be made for sin through animals because atonement for the sins of humans demand a perfect, undefiled offering that was righteous in the eyes of God. Christians hold the belief that Jesus Christ was that one and only perfect man whose death atoned for the sins of humans and through Christ we are forgiven, and humans can be reconciled to God when we accept Jesus Christ's death for sin, his blood washes away our sin and restores our relationship with God. These beliefs validate the date of Jesus 'crucifixion and why it is called Good Friday.
7th April 2023
Good Friday falls on different date each year.