Good Friday

Good Friday

Good Friday also called Holy Friday, Great Friday or Black Friday, is the Friday preceding Easter Sunday “Pascha”. It commemorates the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Golgotha.Based on the scriptural details of the Sanhedrin Trial of Jesus, and scientific analysis, the Crucifixion of Jesus was most probably on a Friday, but see the article on Crucifixion of Jesus for a discussion on the exact date of Good Friday, which in recent years has been estimated as AD 33, by two different groups of scientists, and originally as AD 34 by Isaac Newton via the differences between the Judean and Julian calendars and the crescent of the moon.

According to the New Testament, Jesus is arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane by the Temple Guards through the guidance of his disciple, Judas Iscariot.
Judas received money for betraying Jesus and told the guards that whomever he kisses is the one they are to arrest. Jesus is brought to the house of Annas, who is the father-in-law of the current high priest, Caiaphas. There he is interrogated with little result, and sent bound to Caiaphas the high priest, where the Sanhedrin had assembled John 18:1-24.

Conflicting testimony against Jesus is brought forth by many witnesses, to which Jesus answers nothing. Finally the high priest adjures Jesus to respond under solemn oath, saying “I adjure you, by the Living God, to tell us, are you the Anointed One, the Son of God?” Jesus testifies in the affirmative, “You have said it, and in time you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Almighty, coming on the clouds of Heaven.” The high priest condemns Jesus for blasphemy, and the Sanhedrin Trial of Jesus concurs with a sentence of death Matthew 26:57-66. Peter also denies Jesus three times during the interrogations. Jesus already knew that Peter would deny him three times. See the article Sanhedrin Trial of Jesus regarding the two trials, one at night, the other in the morning and how their timing may affect the day of Good Friday.

In the morning, the whole assembly brings Jesus to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, under charges of subverting the nation, opposing taxes to Caesar, and making himself a king (Luke 23:1-2). Pilate authorizes the Jewish leaders to judge Jesus according to their own Law and execute sentencing, however the Jewish leaders reply that they are not allowed by the Romans to carry out a sentence of death (John 18:31).Pilate questions Jesus, and tells the assembly that there is no basis for sentencing. Upon learning that Jesus is from Galilee, Pilate refers the case to the ruler of Galilee, King Herod, who was in Jerusalem for the Passover Feast.

Herod questions Jesus but receives no answer; Herod sends Jesus back to Pilate. Pilate tells the assembly that neither he nor Herod have found guilt in Jesus; Pilate resolves to have Jesus whipped and released (Luke 23:3-16).It was a custom during the feast of Passover for the Romans to release one prisoner as requested by the Jews. Pilate asks the crowd who they would like to be released. Under the guidance of the chief priests, the crowd asks for Barabbas, who had been imprisoned for committing murder during an insurrection. On the third day, Sunday, which is now known as Easter Sunday (or Pascha), Jesus rose from the dead.

Jesus agonizes on the cross for three hours, during which there is darkness over the whole land. With a loud cry, Jesus gives up his spirit. There is an earthquake, tombs break open, and the curtain in the Temple is torn from top to bottom. The centurion on guard at the site of crucifixion declares, “Truly this was God’s Son!” (Matthew 27:45-54)

Joseph of Arimathea takes the body of Jesus, wraps it in a clean linen shroud, and places it in his own new tomb that had been carved in the rock (Matthew 27:59-60) in a garden near the site of crucifixion. Another secret follower of Jesus and member of the Sanhedrin named Nicodemus (John 3:1) also came bringing 75 pounds of myrrh and aloes, and places them in the linen with the body of Jesus, according to Jewish burial customs (John 19:39-40). They rolled a large rock over the entrance of the tomb (Matthew 27:60). Then they returned home and rested, because at sunset began Shabbat (Luke 23:54-56).