Good Friday is a significant commemoration in Christianity, which marks the death of Jesus of Nazareth for the forgiveness of our sins. This day is observed by covering the images of Christian temples with a mantle and the Catholic rite is somber. The faithful fast and abstain from meat as part of their penance. In the following paragraphs, we will detail the history and meaning of Good Friday.
THE HISTORY OF GOOD FRIDAY
To begin with, Good Friday is part of the Triduum celebration Pascual, which is the center of the entire liturgical year for commemorating the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. On Good Friday, Jesus of Nazareth’s crucifixion on Mount Calvary is remembered after he was sentenced to death by the crew. Pontius Pilate, not finding him guilty, “washed his hands” and delegated the responsibility to the people who had to choose between Jesus or Barabbas. The high priests conspired against Jesus knowing that he would be released.
Two thieves were crucified with Jesus, one good and the other bad. While the latter questioned and asked him to save himself and them, the former refuted him and proclaimed that the penalty that they received was fair, yet that of the Son of God was not. The good thief asks Jesus to remember him when he arrives at his kingdom, to which Jesus responds – “I assure you that today, you will be with me in paradise.”
Joseph of Arimathea wanted to ensure that the requirements of Jewish law were met to give Jesus a proper burial. Together with Nicodemus, they asked for the body, cleaned it, anointed it with oil, wrapped it in linen cloths, and added aromatic spices to leave it in the tomb.
WHAT DOES GOOD FRIDAY MEAN?
Good Friday signifies that Jesus of Nazareth died crucified for the forgiveness of our sins. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through him,” John 3:16 reads.
On this day, the faithful observe penance and reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made to save humanity. It is a day of mourning and contemplation, but also hope, as it precedes the celebration of Easter Sunday when Jesus resurrects from the dead.
In conclusion, Good Friday is an essential day in Christianity, as it reminds us of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for the forgiveness of our sins. It is a time for reflection, penance, mourning, and hope in preparation for Easter Sunday.