Good Friday is regarded as one of the most solemn occasions in the Christian faith.
It is one of the major days of the Christian season of Lent, which begins with Ash Wednesday and concludes with Easter.
Also known as Holy Friday, it marks the day Christ died on the cross. He was crucified and died at around 3:00 pm.
The Roman crucifixion was one of the most brutal methods of execution and it is said that the goal of Christ’s death was to build a bridge between God and humanity, uniting heaven and earth with a Roman cross.
The spiritual void created by sin had caused humanity to drift away from God and in an ultimate expression of love, God sent his only son to not only live a human life, but to die a human death.
It is believed that Christ understands our deepest fears and problems because He has endured all man’s suffering, and paid for the restoration of humanity with His own blood.
While the crucifixion was a cause of immense suffering for the son of God, his noble sacrifice represents an end to the suffering of mankind, and a chance for salvation, and it is this that is honoured as we commemorate the passion of Christ.
A bridge to heaven, the cross represents a divine reconciliation and redemption symbolising the belief that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
While many question that notion of “celebrating” Good Friday which recalls the suffering of Christ, Christians believe without Christ’s death on this day, there could be no resurrection.
First Peter 3:18 tells us, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.”
Many Christian churches commemorate Good Friday with a subdued service, in the evening, in which Christ’s death is remembered with solemn hymns, prayers of thanksgiving, a message centered on Christ suffering for our sakes, and observance of the Lord’s Supper.
Many Christians spend this day in fasting, prayer, repentance, and meditation on the agony and suffering of Christ on the cross, who gave his life for the salvation of mankind.
The biblical account of Jesus’ death on the cross, or crucifixion, his burial and his resurrection, or raising from the dead, can be found in the following passages of Scripture: Matthew 27:27-28:8; Mark 15:16-16:19; Luke 23:26-24:35; and John 19:16-20:30.
What happened on the first Good Friday?
The events of the first Good Friday saw Jesus arrested and taken before the high priests Annas and Caiaphas. It was during this time that Peter denied him.
According to the gospels, Jesus was taken before Pilate and Herod in the morning. It was decreed that the criminal, Barabbas would be released in his place, and Christ was condemned to death.
He was mocked and beaten and crowned with thorns. He was forced to carried the crushing burden of his cross and was then crucified between two thieves.
And yet he forgave those who brutalised him.
At the moment of his death, a quake struck the earth and darkness engulfed the land.