I’m writing this post on the day that Christians call “Good Friday”, the Friday before Resurrection Sunday or Easter. The things that the scriptures say happened on that day don’t seem like good things so why call it “Good Friday”.
First of all let’s deal with the argument, that some make, that the events didn’t take place on a Friday at all. Some say that Friday was indeed the day, others say Thursday, some even believe they took place on Wednesday. Since the day of the week isn’t specifically mentioned in the gospel accounts we can assume, that just like the exact date of Jesus’ birth, it’s not all that important. The important thing is that they did happened. What we are sure of is that the events, reported in the scriptures later really did happen, and in the order they are reported to have happened.
Let’s start with the evening before “Good Friday”:
The Last Supper
Mark 14:17-26 (NKJV)17 In the evening He came with the twelve.18 Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, "Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me."19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say to Him one by one, "Is it I?" And another said, "Is it I?"20 He answered and said to them, "It is one of the twelve, who dips with Me in the dish.21 The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born."22 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."23 Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.24 And He said to them, "This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.25 Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
The Last Supper is what we call the last meal Jesus ate with His disciples before He was betrayed, arrested, and killed. It was more than just a last meal; it was a Passover meal. Passover was an especially holy event for the Jewish people in that it commemorated the time when God spared them from the death of the first born son, the final plague that resulted in their release from Egyptian slavery. The Last Supper brought the Old Testament observance of the Passover feast to its fulfillment At this Supper Jesus told the disciples and, by extension us, to remember what He was about to do on behalf of all mankind which was to shed His blood on the cross for our sins.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 (HCSB)23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: On the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread,24 gave thanks, broke it, and said, “This is My body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”25 In the same way, after supper ⌊He⌋ also ⌊took⌋ the cup and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
Washing the Disciples’ Feet
John 13:1-6 (HCSB)1 Before the Passover Festival, Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.2 Now by the time of supper, the Devil had already put it into the heart of Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray Him.3 Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into His hands, that He had come from God, and that He was going back to God.4 So He got up from supper, laid aside His robe, took a towel, and tied it around Himself.5 Next, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel tied around Him.6 He came to Simon Peter, who asked Him, “Lord, are You going to wash my feet?”
Walking in sandals in Palestine in the in those days made it imperative that feet be washed before a communal meal. When Jesus got up and started washing the feet of the disciples he was doing what the lowliest servant was to do. They were shocked They should have been washing His and Peter said as much.
John 13:8 (HCSB)8 “You will never wash my feet—ever!” Peter said. Jesus replied, “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with Me.”
He gave them an example of humility and service to others that they and we are to follow.
John 13:12-15 (HCSB)12 When Jesus had washed their feet and put on His robe, He reclined again and said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you?13 You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am.14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.15 For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you.
Mark 14:43-52 (HCSB)43 While He was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, suddenly arrived. With him was a mob, with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders.44 His betrayer had given them a signal. “The One I kiss,” he said, “He’s the One; arrest Him and take Him away under guard.”45 So when he came, he went right up to Him and said, “Rabbi!”—and kissed Him.46 Then they took hold of Him and arrested Him.47 And one of those who stood by drew his sword, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his ear.48 But Jesus said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs, as though I were a criminal, to capture Me?49 Every day I was among you, teaching in the temple complex, and you didn’t arrest Me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.”50 Then they all deserted Him and ran away.51 Now a certain young man, having a linen cloth wrapped around his naked body, was following Him. They caught hold of him,52 but he left the linen cloth behind and ran away naked.
John 18:12-13, 19-23 (HCSB)12 Then the company of soldiers, the commander, and the Jewish temple police arrested Jesus and tied Him up.13 First they led Him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 19 The high priest questioned Jesus about His disciples and about His teaching.20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus answered him. “I have always taught in the synagogue and in the temple complex, where all the Jews congregate, and I haven’t spoken anything in secret.21 Why do you question Me? Question those who heard what I told them. Look, they know what I said.”22 When He had said these things, one of the temple police standing by slapped Jesus, saying, “Is this the way you answer the high priest?”23 “If I have spoken wrongly,” Jesus answered him, “give evidence about the wrong; but if rightly, why do you hit Me?”
Trial Before the Sanhedrin, (the religious Supreme Court).
Matthew 26:57-66 (HCSB)57 Those who had arrested Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had convened.58 Meanwhile, Peter was following Him at a distance right to the high priest’s courtyard. He went in and was sitting with the temple police to see the outcome.59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false testimony against Jesus so they could put Him to death.60 But they could not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. Finally, two who came forward61 stated, “This man said, ‘I can demolish God’s sanctuary and rebuild it in three days.’”62 The high priest then stood up and said to Him, “Don’t You have an answer to what these men are testifying against You?”63 But Jesus kept silent. Then the high priest said to Him, “By the living God I place You under oath: tell us if You are the Messiah, the Son of God!”64 “You have said it,” Jesus told him. “But I tell you, in the future you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? Look, now you’ve heard the blasphemy!66 What is your decision?” They answered, “He deserves death!”
Trial Before Pilate
Mark 15:1-5 (HCSB)1 As soon as it was morning, the chief priests had a meeting with the elders, scribes, and the whole Sanhedrin. After tying Jesus up, they led Him away and handed Him over to Pilate.2 So Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” He answered him, “You have said it.”3 And the chief priests began to accuse Him of many things.4 Then Pilate questioned Him again, “Are You not answering anything? Look how many things they are accusing You of!”5 But Jesus still did not answer anything, so Pilate was amazed.
To Herod for Interrogation
Luke 23:6-10 (HCSB)6 When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man was a Galilean.
7 Finding that He was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem during those days.8 Herod was very glad to see Jesus; for a long time he had wanted to see Him because he had heard about Him and was hoping to see some miracle performed by Him.9 So he kept asking Him questions, but Jesus did not answer him.10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing Him.
Back to Pilate
Luke 23:11-12 (HCSB)11 Then Herod, with his soldiers, treated Him with contempt, mocked Him, dressed Him in a brilliant robe, and sent Him back to Pilate.12 That very day Herod and Pilate became friends. Previously, they had been hostile toward each other.
Luke 23:26-31 (HCSB)26 As they led Him away, they seized Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, and laid the cross on him to carry behind Jesus.27 A large crowd of people followed Him, including women who were mourning and lamenting Him.28 But turning to them, Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and your children.29 Look, the days are coming when they will say, ‘The women without children, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed, are fortunate!’30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Mark 15:25 (HCSB)25 Now it was nine in the morning when they crucified Him.
Luke 23:39-43 (HCSB)39 Then one of the criminals hanging there began to yell insults at Him: “Aren’t You the Messiah? Save Yourself and us!”40 But the other answered, rebuking him: “Don’t you even fear God, since you are undergoing the same punishment?41 We are punished justly, because we’re getting back what we deserve for the things we did, but this man has done nothing wrong.”42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!”43 And He said to him, “I assure you: Today you will be with Me in paradise.”
Mark 15:33-34 (HCSB)33 When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.34 And at three Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lemá sabachtháni?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Luke 23:44-46 (HCSB)44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three,45 because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle.46 And Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I entrust My spirit.” Saying this, He breathed His last.
John 19:30 (HCSB) 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
Why Did Jesus Had to Die?
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s commands, He had to punish them.
Genesis 2:16-17 (HCSB)16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden,17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”
Genesis 3:6-7 (HCSB)6 Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate ⌊it⌋; she also gave ⌊some⌋ to her husband, ⌊who was⌋ with her, and he ate ⌊it⌋.7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
Ever since Adam’s sin, every human has been guilty of sin.
Romans 3:23 (HCSB)23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Sin is not just big things like murder, robbery, lying, but also includes love of money, hatred, pride, etc., and because of sin, everyone has deserved death which is eternal separation from God.
However, God did promise that He would send a sacrifice to take the punishment they, and we deserve.
Genesis 3:14-15 (HCSB)14 Then the LORD God said to the serpent: Because you have done this, you are cursed more than any livestock and more than any wild animal. You will move on your belly and eat dust all the days of your life.15 I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.
Until Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, came men would sacrifice innocent lambs and other animals. Then God Himself provided the only sacrifice that could atone for our sins.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (HCSB)21 He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Jesus had to die because He is the only one who can pay the penalty for our sins.
The story continues
After Jesus’ death;
There was a big earthquake
Matthew 27:51-52 (HCSB)51 Suddenly, the curtain of the sanctuary was split in two from top to bottom; the earth quaked and the rocks were split.52 The tombs were also opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised.
Jesus is Buried
Matthew 27:57-61 (HCSB)57 When it was evening, a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph came, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.58 He approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Then Pilate ordered that it be released.59 So Joseph took the body, wrapped it in clean, fine linen,60 and placed it in his new tomb, which he had cut into the rock. He left after rolling a great stone against the entrance of the tomb.61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were seated there, facing the tomb.
Jesus Rises from the Dead
Matthew 28:1-7 (HCSB)1 After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to view the tomb.2 Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached ⌊the tomb⌋. He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it.3 His appearance was like lightning, and his robe was as white as snow.4 The guards were so shaken from fear of him that they became like dead men.5 But the angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.6 He is not here! For He has been resurrected, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay.7 Then go quickly and tell His disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. In fact, He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there.’ Listen, I have told you.”
It Is Good Friday
The things that Jesus went through were not good things. He was betrayed by a friend, falsely accused and convicted of crimes He didn’t commit. He was whipped, beaten, laughed at and killed in a very violent way. Those were not good things, but the results were good….very good.
Romans 5:8-11 (HCSB)8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!9 Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath.10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, ⌊then how⌋ much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life!11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have now received this reconciliation through Him.
1 Peter 3:18 (HCSB)18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring you to God, after being put to death in the fleshly realm but made alive in the spiritual realm.
Do you see Good Friday as a “good” day? Has Jesus washed away your sins and forgiven you? Will you spend eternity with Him?
If your answer to those questions is no then you will die in your sin and spend eternity separated from God where there will be torment.
2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 (HCSB)8 taking vengeance with flaming fire on those who don’t know God and on those who don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction from the Lord’s presence and from His glorious strength
If on the other hand you want to be able to answer the questions with a yes you must embrace Jesus’ death on “Good Friday” as payment for your sins. You must acknowledge that He took your punishment. Here’s how you do that;
Romans 10:9-12 (NLT) If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him.
If you want to receive God’s grace and all the benefits that God has promised to His children then pray this prayer in all sincerity (only you and God know if you’re really sincere);
“Dear God, I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I now invite Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Savior.”
If you have just prayed this prayer, in all sincerity, call, text, email, Tweet, change your Facebook status and tell somebody. Leave me a comment here or send me an email with this Link. Then find a bible believing church and start to fellowship with other believers. Welcome to the family of God. From now on “Good Friday” really will be “Good Friday” for you.
This blog is for you! If you have any questions or topics you would like me to address please use the comments section or email me at email@example.com
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.