Good Friday

Good Friday:

Jesus is crucified and buried.

What is Good Friday?

  • The middle portion of the three-day celebration of Jesus death and resurrection.
  • On this day Jesus was condemned and put to death.
  • He was crucified at noon and died at 3:00 o’clock.

When is Good Friday?

  • The Friday evening before Easter Sunday

Why do we call it “Good”?

  • What happened to Jesus was evil, but God used it for good.

What happened this day?

  • Jesus was taken before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate (technically a “procurator”).
  • Pilate sentenced Jesus to death as “King of the Judeans,” meaning he was a pretender to the throne, and therefore guilty of insurrection.
  • Jesus was sentenced to be impaled on a cross.  Only rebel slaves and those who threatened Roman rule were but to death by crucifixion.
  • While Jesus was in custody he was tortured and mocked by the soldiers.  They dressed him as a “king” with a red or purple robe and a crown made of thorns.
  • Jesus was made to carry his cross to the place of execution.
  • When he stumbled from exhaustion and weakness, a man in the crowd was grabbed to carry his cross.  His name was simon of Cyrene.
  • Jesus was crucified about noon.  He died about three o’clock.
  • The soldiers had orders to be sure the victims were dead before sunset (they were usually allowed to remain for days) so to hasten death they broke the legs of their victims.  Since Jesus was already dead they did not break his legs, but they pierced him in the side to be certain he was dead.
  • Joseph of Arimathea got permission to bury the body and put him in a new grave that was nearby.
  • These graves were carved into the rock like small caves.  The body would be placed on a bench carved into the rock and, after the body decomposed, the bones would be collected and stored.
  • They sealed the grave with a large flat stone that rolls into a slot at the cave entrance.

What does the church do on Good Friday?

  • The community gathers to pray and meditate on the mystery of the cross.
  • We read Isaiah 53 and the Passion narrative in the Gospel of John.
  • We pray that the benefits of Christ’s death may come to all people throughout the world.
  • We carry in a large wooden cross to meditate on the mystery of Jesus’ death.
  • An evening service is also held, especially for those who cannot come in the afternoon.  It is called Tenebrae.