What happened on Good Friday?

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What is the central event of Good Friday?

Good Friday is the day when Jesus was crucified. This day is often commemorated as a day of mourning,  fasting, and sorrow. 

The central event of Christianity is the death of Jesus and the crucifixion is the central scene in Passion Plays across the UK. It is a scene of great suffering as Jesus dies a painful death along with two criminals. Even though he was an innocent man, he suffered a criminal’s death.

At the foot of the cross are members of Jesus’ family, including his mother, and his friends, all of them weeping in sorrow and horror. Also at the foot of the cross are Roman soldiers who are in charge of the execution. They are playing a game – gambling for the clothes of the condemned men. 

Why is it called ‘Good’ Friday?

This day is known as ‘Good’ Friday because Jesus was killed in our place. He suffered the weight of sin and its penalty of death so that we could be forgiven and given eternal life.

Although the crucifixion is a scene of torture and torment, we do not experience it in the same way the friends and family of Jesus experienced it. Today we know that Jesus did not stay dead and his body did not stay in the tomb. As he had foretold, God raised him from the dead after three days. He was completely perfect, without sin and death could not hold him. 

Today, although we think of the crucifixion and re-play the events, we do not have the same depth of sorrow or horror because we know what happened on Easter Sunday!

You can see one of the free Passion Plays that take place across the UK every year to see Jesus’s life, death and resurrection brought to life. You can also read what the Bible says in verse such as the ones below. 

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Matthew 26:39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

Romans 5:6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

Philippians 2:8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Jesus kneeling with part of the cross on his back, surrounded by guards in contemporary black uniform and glass shields against a backdrop of shops on the high street.