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Holidays

Holidays

Good Friday: Christ Carried Sin to the Grave – And Left It There – Lesson

cross christianJesus took the sin of the world upon himself, paying the price no one else could.

For Christians, Good Friday is one of the most important holidays of the year because it represents Jesus Christ’s sacrifice to wash away our sins. It was the day he was crucified, only to rise again on Sunday, which we call Easter. In the past, the day of Jesus’ death was known by other terms, such as Black Friday, Holy Friday, and Great Friday. It is always observed two days before Easter.

It was said Jesus claimed to be King of the Jews, which was against the beliefs of the Jewish religious authority. The high council (called the Sanhedrin) called for his arrest.

One of Jesus’ apostles, Judas Iscariot, betrayed him for 30 silver coins. Judas identified Jesus among a group of people in the Garden of Gethsemane, by kissing him and calling him “Rabbi.” Christ was arrested and taken to Caiaphas the High Priest, who charged him with blasphemy. Jesus was then sent to Pontius Pilate, a Roman governor, who asked a crowd what to do with the prisoner. After Christ did not deny any of the charges, the attendees demanded Jesus’ execution.

No one really knows what motivated Judas to betray his friend, but it’s said that he regretted his choice, and tried to return the silver coins to the priests who paid him.

good friday

Jesus was taken to the Roman courtyard by the soldiers, where a crown of thorns was set upon his head. He had to carry his own cross to Golgotha, where he was crucified. After Jesus passed, the skies turned dark for three hours, an earthquake rippled across the land, and the veil in the temple in Jerusalem tore from top to bottom.

Observing Good Friday

As part of the Holy Week, which includes Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter, Christians honor Jesus’ sacrifice in different ways throughout the world. In Bermuda, for example, locals fly kites to represent Christ’s ascension to Heaven. In Jerusalem, Christians walk the exact trail that Jesus did on the day he was crucified.

Palm Sunday begins the Holy Week. Many Christians have already been participating in Lent, though, which lasts about six weeks. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends three days before Easter Sunday. During Lent, participants can choose to give up a luxury item, such as eating chocolate. Some of the stauncher worshipers will follow the strict fasting diet of no meat, eggs, fish, or fats.

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Good Friday procession in Bottrop, Germany. (Photo by Caroline Seidel/picture alliance via Getty Images)

According to Roman Catholic lore, on Good Friday, people should avoid eating meat (fish is okay). Traditionally, meat is associated with celebrations and feasts, so it is considered a worthy sacrifice for this holy day. In fact, several churches suggest that fish, and not meat, should be eaten every Friday.

Good Friday is not considered a holiday in every US state but some businesses do close in observance. Other countries have mandatory closing of certain places. For example, in Germany, it is forbidden to go horseback riding or dance, and any businesses that don’t follow this rule could be fined.

The faithful often attend services between noon and 3 p.m., the time during which Christ was crucified.