Good Friday is the Friday before Easter and commemorates the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary.
After Jesus was betrayed by Judas at the Garden of Gethsemane, he was eventually sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate in an attempt to prevent a riot as the public, headed by the Jewish leaders, demanded that Jesus be crucified.
Jesus carried his cross (partly assisted by Simon of Cyrene) along what is now known as the Stations of the Cross to the site of the crucifixion at Golgotha (Hebrew) or Calvary (Latin). Here, he was crucified along with two criminals after agonizing on the cross for six hours (9am to 3pm). During his last three hours, darkness fell over the entire land.
Jesus’ Seven Last Words from the Cross form the basis of Good Friday services and have special meaning: Forgiveness, Salvation, Relationship (to Mary), Abandonment, Distress, Reunion and Triumph.
After a loud cry, Jesus gave up his spirit and died. There was an earthquake, tombs broke open and the curtain in the Temple was torn from top to bottom. The centurion on guard at the execution site declared “truly this was God’s Son!”
Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus placed the body in a tomb in a rock of a garden near the site of the crucifixion and rolled a large rock over the entrance to the tomb.