So, today is Good Friday! “Why is it called Good Friday,” I hear you ask, “when it’s the day that the one perfect human who ever lived, died?” Good question, well let me explain…
Good Friday is celebrated every year because it is the day when Jesus was disowned and died for all of humanity to save our sins, despite the fact that no one was on His side at the time… how awesome is that?! Don’t know many (or any people) who would do that, to be honest.
This is why Good Friday is so good: because it is the day that we have all been saved from the power of hell, if we choose to be.
Again, Good Friday is well documented in the Bible, as it should be! The story of Good Friday appears in all 4 of the Bible’s Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. In fact, it is so well-documented that the passages are sooooo long! So here’s what I’m going to do: I’ll give you a link to the Bible verses in case you want to read them for yourself but I’ll do a quick summary of all of them in case you don’t. Here they are, one by one:
- Matthew 27:27-66 (The Soldiers Mock Jesus; The Crucifixion of Jesus; The Death of Jesus; The Burial of Jesus; The Guard At the Tomb;) – this is when Jesus is further humiliated and is surrounded by soldiers, given a scarlet robe and His famous Crown of Thorns. He is also mocked at this point, people saying sarcastically, “hail, king of the Jews!” He is badly beaten on the head and then lead to be crucified. Jesus is then forced to carry His own cross, given sour wine and mocked even more, as people underestimate the power that He has as Lord. What’s more, even the genuine criminals who were crucified beside Him Mock Him. Darkness than comes over the land and Jesus calls out His last cry before dying. Symbolically at this point, the curtain in the temple is torn in half, from top to bottom, showing that this could not have been done by a person, but by God Himself. Amazingly also, the bodies of many dead people are raised to life again and they go out into the city, just like anyone else would. The massive stone is then rolled in front of the entrance to Jesus’ tomb, and two important women in Jesus’ life, Mary Magdalene and Mary, watch from a distance. Jesus’tomb is then secured even more.
- Mark 15:16-47 – essentially the same events are documented in this passage. What’s important though, is how this reinforces the fact that these events did actually happen, as they were written by two separate people. I still recommend that you check this passage out if you’re curious, as it’s a further reminder of the HUGE sacrifice that Jesus made for us all.
- Luke 23:6-56 – I suppose this perhaps gives a little more detail on Jesus’ last few hours. It particularly highlights Herod’s involvement in it all this time (remember him? He was the guy who was king of Bethlehem and felt threatened by Jesus’ being another king, so ordered all young boys in that area to be killed – NOT a nice man!) Herod and Pilate, actually became friends that very day. However, note that Pilate also didn’t see any wrong in Jesus, (and rightly so!) so saw no reason for Him to be crucified. However, he gave in to peer pressure, just like any human in that situation would, so did order Him to be crucified as was intended, releasing a sinner from prison (Barabbas) instead. Jesus is followed by a large crowd on the way to crucifixion, including two weeping women who are then comforted by Jesus himself. Jesus was then crucified at the place of the Skull (Golgotha). The criminal who was being crucified beside Him, at the last moment of his life,repented of all of His sins, and Jesus tells him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise,” further demonstrating God’s love and forgiveness for all those who repent. Jesus then died (also documented in the same way in Matthew and Mark – above). Joseph, a well-respected man, asked for Jesus’ body from Pilate and wrapped it, placing it in the tomb. Joseph and the women (the two Marys, mentioned before) then observed the day it was then: the Sabbath.
- John 19:16-42 – this starts a little later on, when Pilot hands Jesus over to be crucified. This is documented in the same way as the other Gospels do, but notice how this one explicitly says that the sign mocking Jesus as “king of the Jews” is fastened to the cross. It was also written in many languages, so that as many people at the time could understand it: it was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. There was even some dispute about this sign and the wording of it. When Jesus was crucified, his clothes were then torn into four pieces and given to the soldiers. Only His undergarment remained… . Jesus even made eye contact with his mother, Mary at this point. Jesus knew at His death that all that was said in the Scriptures (the Bible) would now be fulfilled. This passage documents particularly well the disgust and public humiliation with which (people accused as) criminals at that time were treated: verses 31-37 really show this. Jesus’ burial is also documented in a similar way in this passage to the other three, but in more detail. Check it out!
Just to finish off, I’d like to share with you two worship songs which are extremely relevant to this day. The first is The Servant King, and the second is In Christ Alone. These songs are great for reflecting deeply on the very meaning of Good Friday. I recommend anyone, not just Christians, to check these two songs out (I’ve left the links over the titles of the songs).
I hope you’ve learnt something new, or further reinforced your beliefs from reading this. What I’ve written is still quite long, but I didn’t want to miss out the minute details which are essential to the story of the death of Jesus.
What’s also wonderful is what happens on Easter Sunday… stay tuned – see you then!