Aside from knowing what Good Friday is, you should also know Good Friday history so that you will be able to have a deeper understanding of this day and why it is being celebrated so vastly across the world. You can figure out the significance of this day by reading the history of Good Friday below.
The Initial Trials of Jesus Christ
It all started when in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus Christ was betrayed by Judas. After this, he was taken by a mob to the house of Caiaphas, who was a high priest during that time. One of Jesus’ disciples, Peter, said that he would never leave Jesus Christ. However, Jesus told him that before the crow of a rooster, Peter will deny him three times. When Jesus was arrested, all of his disciples ran away because of extreme fear. Peter still followed Jesus while keeping a distance up to the courtyard in the home of the high priest.
However, three different people recognized Peter as a disciple of Christ. For each accusation, Peter denied that he is a disciple of Christ. After then, a rooster crowed and that was when Peter remembered what Jesus told him a while ago. He then felt very ashamed for his denials. Because of that, he cried.
All the elders, scribes, chief priest, and the high priest began an informal late-night meeting. This meeting also involved the Jewish council that conducted a trial for Jesus. However, the trial was not a fair trial at all. The religious leaders looked for evidence that would put a justification for putting Jesus Christ to death. Despite that, they were not able to find anything. They even called all witnesses. But they found only disappointment since the witnesses were not able to agree with each other.
The high priest then asked Jesus himself if he is the son of God, the Messiah. Jesus answered affirmatively, confirming that he is indeed the son of God and that he will come back to the clouds of heaven. The high priest then shouted that they do not need any more witnesses because Jesus himself has confirmed the accusations. The high priest called such an act as high blasphemy. All the people then shouted at Jesus and started beating him. They even threw spit on Jesus’ face.
The Trial by Pontius Pilate
During the trial, the religious leaders agreed to put Jesus to his death. However, under Roman law, they do not have any authority to put anyone to death. So what they did was when the morning came, they immediately took Christ to the Roman governor named Pontius Pilate. The leaders falsely accused Jesus of high treason against the Roman Empire. They said that Jesus Claimed to be the King of the Jews and urged the people to not pay their taxes.
Pontius Pilate noticed that Jesus was not guilty of any of these accusations. However, he did not want to have any trouble with the religious leaders. So he asked Jesus if he was really the king of the Jews. Jesus replied that his kingdom is not of that place but of another place. The governor has the right to release a prisoner during the Passover Feast but with the decision to be made by the people. The religious leaders knew this so they persuaded the crowd of people gathered around the house of Pontius Pilate to vote for the release of a prisoner named Barabbas and not Jesus. They also said to demand that Jesus should be crucified.
Pontius Pilate then asked the people outside of his home about which prisoner to be released. The crowd of people shouted the name Barabbas. Pilate then asked what to do with Jesus. The people then replied to crucify him. For this reason, Pontius Pilate ordered the Roman soldiers to put Jesus to crucifixion.
The Crucifixion and Entombment
During that time, crucifixion is one of the cruelest forms of death that is reserved for slaves and criminals who have committed high treason and serious crimes. On his journey to being crucified, Jesus Christ was tortured by the Roman soldiers. At first, he was beaten. He was then mocked by the Roman soldiers as they made him wear a purple dress and a crown of thorns. They then gave him a large and heavy cross to be carried while walking towards the place where he will be crucified. Jesus fell three times during the walk (this is symbolized in today’s Stations of the Cross). He then became very weak due to both the beatings he received and the fact that the cross was very heavy. For this reason, the soldiers forced a man named Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross instead of Jesus.
When they arrived at the place of crucifixion, Jesus got his hands and feet nailed to the cross. He was placed in between two other criminals who were also crucified. At exactly 3 pm, Jesus Christ died. The soldiers did not stop the tortures and shaming there. They also put a sign on the cross of Jesus saying “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”
After the crucifixion, strange things happened. There was complete darkness over the land for 3 hours. The curtain of the temple was also torn into two. A major earthquake happened. A man named Joseph came to Pontius Pilate and asked for Jesus Christ’s body. He then agreed to it. Joseph wrapped Jesus’ body in a cloth made of linen. It was a clean cloth. He then buried Jesus on a tomb and placed a giant stone at the entrance of the tomb to seal it.