What is Good Friday?

by | Apr 10, 2020 | 02 Library, What is

“Good Friday” commemorates the death of Jesus on the cross on the Friday before Easter or Resurrection Sunday.

When churches moved their services online in 2020 due to COVID, I took advantage of the opportunity to “attend” about 10 different Good Friday services. This video above was my favorite.

Why was it my favorite? Because this service concentrated on telling the story of Good Friday.

What Happened on Good Friday?

On the Thursday night before he died, Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples 9Matthew 26:17-35) and then went to the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46). There, Jesus spent his last hours praying to the Father while his disciples slept nearby.

Early Friday morning, Jesus was arrested (Matthew 26:47-56), “tried” by the Sanhedrin and condemned (Matthew 26:57-75). Since the Jewish religious leaders needed Rome to approve of their death sentence, Jesus was taken to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor in Judea (Matthew 27:1-26). Pilate found no reason to charge Jesus.

When Pilate discovered that Jesus was from Galilee, which was under Herod’s jurisdiction, Pilate Jesus sent to Herod in Jerusalem. Jesus refused to answer Herod’s questions, so Herod sent him back to Pilate (Luke 23:6-11).

Although Pilate found him innocent, he feared the crowds who wanted Jesus crucified, so he sentenced Jesus to death. Jesus was brutally beaten, mocked, struck on the head with a staff and spit on (Matthew 27:27-31). A crown of thorns was placed on his head. He was stripped naked and forced to carry his own cross to the place of crucifixion. When Jesus grew too weak to continue, Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry it for him.

Jesus was led to Calvary where soldiers drove large nails through his wrists and ankles, affixing him to the cross. An inscription that read “King of the Jews” was placed over his head. Jesus hung on the cross for approximately six hours until he took his final breath. While he was on the cross, soldiers cast lots for Jesus’ clothing. Onlookers shouted insults and jeered (Matthew 27:32-56) .

As evening fell, Joseph of Arimathea (with the help of Nicodemus) took Jesus’ body down from the cross and had him placed in his own new tomb. A great stone was rolled over the entrance, sealing the tomb (Matthew 27:57-66). 

On Sunday, God resurrected Jesus from the dead (Matthew 28:1-10).

Where to next: What is the Gospel?

Questions? Please ask

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