Today is “Good Friday,” the day on which Christians in my country typically commemorate Jesus’ death from crucifixion. Three days later, on “Easter Sunday,” Christians here will celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.
The Bible states that Jesus was crucified and died; it describes Jesus’ final hours:
“A signboard was nailed to the cross above him with these words: ‘This is the King of the Jews.’ One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, ‘So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself — and us too while you’re at it!’ But the other criminal protested, ‘Don’t you even fear God when you are dying? We deserve to die for our evil deeds, but this man hasn’t done one thing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom. ‘ And Jesus replied, ‘ Today you will be with me in Paradise. This is a solemn promise.’ By now it was noon, and the darkness fell across the whole land for three hours, until three o’clock. The light from the sun was gone — and suddenly the think veil hanging in the Temple split apart. Then Jesus shouted, Father, I commit my spirit to you,’ and with those words he died.” (Luke 23:38-46)
Following Jesus’ death, the body of Jesus was laid in a tomb without being embalmed:
“Then a man named Joseph, a member of the Jewish Supreme Court, from the city of Arimathea in Judea, went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. He was a godly man who had been expecting the Messiah’s coming and had not agreed with the decision and actions of the other Jewish leaders. So he took down Jesus’ body and wrapped it in a long linen cloth and laid it in a new, unused tomb hewn into the rock at the side of a hill. This was done on Friday afternoon, the day of preparation for the Sabbath. As the body was taken away, the women from Galilee followed and saw it carried into the tomb. Then they went home and prepared spices and ointments to embalm him; but by the time they were finished it was the Sabbath, so they rested all that day as required by the Jewish law.” (Luke 23:50-55)
The body of Jesus was to be embalmed on Sunday morning:
“But very early on Sunday morning they took the ointments to the tomb — and found that the huge stone covering the entrance had been rolled aside. So they went in — but the Lord Jesus’ body was gone. They stood there puzzled, trying to think what could have happened to it. Suddenly two men appeared before them, clothed in shining robes so bright their eyes were dazzled. The women were terrified and bowed low before them. Then the men asked, ‘Why are you looking in a tomb for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He has come back to life again! Don’t you remember what he told you back in Galilee — that the Messiah must be betrayed into the power of evil men and be crucified and that he would rise again the third day?’ Then they remembered…“. (Luke 24:1-8)
In truth, scholars debate the day of the week Jesus was actually crucified. Most believe it was on a Friday; many believe it may have been on a Wednesday; and, a few believe it may have been on a Thursday. I’m not a scholar and I do not know whether Jesus’ crucifixion began on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. Perhaps it is unimportant.
What is important to me is that Jesus suffered and died for us so that we might have eternal life with God — and that Jesus lives on: “Christ also suffered. He died once for the sins of all us guilty sinners although he himself was innocent of any sin at any time, that he might bring us safely home to God. But though his body died his spirit lived on...” (1 Peter 3:18)
It matters little to me the day on which Jesus died for me. It matters everything to me that He did.
Photo by Sawitree Pamee