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Good Friday – A solemn day for people all over the world

Good Friday is perhaps the most important day in our lives. It commemorates the day Jesus Christ was crucified and died on the cross in Calvary so that he could save mankind. It is a religious holiday all over the world, especially in the Anglican and Catholic nations.

Good Friday is when Jesus died on the cross to save mankind

Good Friday is a part of Holy Week. It is the day Jesus died on the cross in Calvary. From the early days, this day was observed as a day of sorrow, penance, and fasting, a characteristic that finds expression in the German word Karfreitag (“Sorrowful Friday”).

People also attend the Stations of the Cross which signifies Jesus’s journey from the time he was arrested until the time he was crucified and died on the Cross. These stations are held during Lent, usually on Wednesdays and Fridays after the evening mass, here in Goa. Others attend confession with the priests as is the practice during Lent and especially during Holy Week. 

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Good Friday mass is a long one that lasts about 2 hours. People stand for most the of the service.

The Passion of the Lord

The Passion of the Lord is a story that is faithfully told every Good Friday. Priests and lay-people play the parts of the characters and enact it during mass. The Passion is a spoken skit and goes on for about 2 hours during the service.

The story tells of how Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. He was subsequently arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane and taken to the High Priest for interrogation. All the while he said nothing to defend himself against all that he was being accused off.

The next morning he was brought in front of Pontius Pilate. Pilate too questioned him and found nothing to be wrong. He then asked King Herod the ruler of Jerusalem to pass judgment. But he too did not seem to find anything malicious and it was decided that Jesus should be flogged and released. However, sensing that he would possibly have to face the wrath of the crowd, Pilate handed Jesus over to them for a final judgment. The crowd wanted Barabbas, a common thief released, instead of Jesus. Pilate felt he had no choice but to give in to them.

Pilate gave Jesus to the crowd to be crucified so that he could avoid a riot and keep his job. Jesus was given a heavy cross to carry all the way to Calvary. The cross had the words “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”, inscribed on it.

Dying on the cross

Jesus agonized on the cross for six hours. During his last three hours on the cross, from noon to 3 pm, darkness fell over the whole land, Jesus spoke from the cross, quoting the messianic Psalm 22: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Soon after, Jesus took his last breath. An earthquake shook the ground and tombs broke open.

Pilate wanted proof of Jesus’s death. A soldier pierced the side of Jesus with a lance causing blood and water to flow out, and the centurion informed Pilate that Jesus was dead. Joseph of Arimathea, a secret follower of Jesus, asked Pilate for his body so that it could be buried with respect. At the time, the dead were entombed, as per custom. Together with Nicodemus, another secret follower, he took down Jesus’s body from the cross and wrapped it in a clean, linen shroud filled with a mixture of spices. They then laid Jesus to rest in a tomb.

Keeping in with Jewish custom, they then rolled a giant stone over the entrance of the tomb. They then returned home to rest as Shabbat had begun. The next day, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. But the stone had been rolled away and there was no sign of Jesus’s body.  “After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week,…….”. “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said……….”. On the third day, which is now known as Easter Sunday (or Pascha), Jesus rose from the dead.

If you would like to learn more about Good Friday, check out this article.

Information credit – Wikipedia

ItsGoa/MAR/KDGP

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