Good Friday – heralding the miracle return of Jesus
March 3rd, 2015 is Good Friday and observed as a special holiday all over the world. While different sects among Christians and across many countries of the world observe in different ways, the common theme is Jesus Christ savior of mankind, Son of God, was crucified on the Friday just before Sunday Easter and as he had promised his disciples, arose once again on the third day or Easter Sunday in the Holy Week. The Good Friday Prayer which refers to any of the prayers prayed by Christians on Good Friday, the Friday before Easter, or to all such prayers collectively, is uttered throughout by the devotees all over.
How it is observed
Good Friday is a commemoration of Lord Jesus’ arrest, his trial, the crucifixion thereafter and subsequent death at Calvary or Golgotha, near Jerusalem. It is a lament for the death of Christ and not a celebration.
People remembering the agony and sufferings of the Son of God, during the entire event, observe it in mournful silence at churches and where the candles are extinguished, statues are shrouded in black and sermons are made out from the pulpit. Some places have prayer services in groups, the reading out of passages from the Gospel, the singing of special songs meant for the occasion and even observing it as a day of fast or not eating meat for that day. There are mourners who also dress in black to express their grief.
The entire ceremony starts with ‘Maundy Thursday’ from when special prayers are offered, followed by Friday and Saturday with observances and the holding of special Mass at churches.
Sunday, the day when Lord Jesus arose once again to meet his disciples, is a day of feasting and rejoicing when the happy event is said to have occurred. People celebrate all over to mark the joyous occasion, in remembrance of the ‘miracle’ that the Son of God performed to honor the wishes of his ardent followers.
Changes that have come about over the times
The term "good" in the context of Good Friday is contested. Some claim it is from the sense of pious or holy for which the word "good", is used. There are others who see it as a corruption of "God Friday". In fact the Oxford English Dictionary supports the first by way of examples of the use of the word “good” as “holy” by the Church such as good tide or "Christmas" or “Good Wednesday” meaning the Wednesday in Holy Week.
While it is a period of mourning in general, in modern times it has also seen change by way of greetings exchanged by way of cards and SMS, thoughtful and beautiful messages which are significant of the occasion. There have been enactments of sorts of the entire sequence of events from the high priest of Emperor Pilates court mocking Jesus for talking about the glory of God and the debate, the declaration of Jesus as an offender of his highness, the Emperor, to have challenged his ultimate authority, the inciting of the subjects, the anger shown against Jesus, the crucifixion and then giving up of Jesus’ life on the Cross asking God to forgive the sinners who knew not what they were doing.
The messages of Good Friday
Important Quotes and Sayings for Good Friday 2015:
- Life is a precious gift, but we realize this only when we give it to others." – Pope Francis
- God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son."– John 3:16
- By the cross we, too, are crucified with Christ; but alive in Christ. We are no more rebels, but servants; no more servants, but sons!"– Frederic William Farrar
- We want to avoid suffering, death, sin, ashes. But we live in a world crushed and broken and torn, a world God Himself visited to redeem. We receive his poured-out life, and being allowed the high privilege of suffering with Him, may then pour ourselves out for others." – Elisabeth Ellio
- Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die'. - John 11:25-26
- The cross was two pieces of dead wood; and a helpless, unresisting Man was nailed to it; yet it was mightier than the world, and triumphed, and will ever triumph over it."– Augustus William Hare
- Merciful God, release us from the time of trial and oppression that we may witness to the eternal hope of grief becoming joy and life rising from death. Amen."
- Father, into your hands I commend my spirit. In you, O LORD, I take refuge; Let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me. Into your hands I commend my spirit; you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God." - Psalm 31
- “I am the witness to his fearless death. I am a token of his last promise. Forgiveness. I am the Cross. Blessings on Good Friday."
- It's Good Friday. Good because 2000 years ago the events of today prove that we matter to God.
- "On this Good Friday may we never forget the true meaning of Easter – 'For when He was on the cross, I was on His mind.”
- Good Friday. Way of the Cross. Fasting and abstinence. Examine conscience. Have a really blessed day."
Be of any religion. Know your own God. But at least acknowledge the teachings of Lord Jesus like so many other texts you may have come across. For he is the supreme example of the fact that – ‘The Greatest is Love’.
Message of Good Friday : courtesy Mugdha Variyar