Growing up we didn’t attend church often, but we did observe Good Friday and Easter. As a child I could not for the life of me see how Jesus could have possibly died on Friday and rose on Sunday morning. Now I knew I was young, but I just couldn’t reconcile what the Bible said and what tradition said. Finally, I gave up and accepted what everyone said and celebrated the death of our Lord and Savior on Friday like the rest of the world.
Today, I have a better understanding. I now know that he did not die on Friday like I was taught. This would definitely fit with what the scriptures say concerning Jesus being in the grave three nights and three days. I have learned to trust what the scriptures say verses what tradition says.
So with the holiday season quickly approaching us I want to address a few questions. First, how did Good Friday come to be? Second, is it man-made or scripture inspired? Third, when did Jesus die? And finally, are we supposed to celebrate his death?
Good Friday’s Origin
This is the day that Jesus is supposed to have been crucified. Therefore, the church has been celebrating it with fasting, prayers, and other rituals. This day was originally called the “Holy or Great Friday” by the Greeks. It didn’t get its current name until about the sixth or seventh century. It was named by the Romans.1
Good Friday is historically observed in three parts. The first consists of Roman Church’s officials chanting and praying in black clothing. In the second part they conduct a ceremony of unveiling, adoring and kissing the cross. This is accompanied by the chanting of the Improperia, which “are the reproaches which in the liturgy of the Office of Good Friday the Saviour is made to utter against the Jews, who, in requital for all the Divine favours and particularly for the delivery from the bondage of Egypt and safe conduct into the Promised Land, inflicted on Him the ignominies of the Passion and a cruel death.”2
The final part is called the Mass of Presanctified. A procession takes place and Holy Communion is shared. This concludes the rituals of the Roman Catholic Church. Read more details about Good Friday’s rituals on New Advent.
Man-made or Divinely Inspired?
A lot of the Christian faith is based on the Roman Catholic Church and their doctrines, which don’t necessarily align with the Bible. So does this mean that Good Friday is a hoax? No, not really. The concept of Good Friday is that it is the day Jesus died. Although, logically this is impossible, which I will talk about a little later.
Good Friday is based on Easter. Whatever day Easter falls on the Friday before it is considered Good Friday. So while the death of Jesus is recorded in the Bible, the ceremony we are to follow has nothing to do with the above rituals. All of that is man-made and not biblically sound. Therefore, should we follow such ways? Absolutely not! So what are we suppose to do. I’ll talk about this in a minute.
When Did Jesus Die?
Let’s begin by clearing up the fact that Jesus did not die on Friday like most people say. Most people know how to count. You don’t get three days and three nights from Friday to Sunday. At best you get two days and two nights. Seeing that Jesus rose before the sun came up on Sunday we can’t even include Sunday as part of our calculations. So when did Jesus die?
Well, instead of just telling you I thought this video would be much more informative. It’s about an hour and an half long. I haven’t watched the video, but I did see the original broadcast. In the original broadcast there were some technical difficulties. I hope they were worked out for the video. However, if they weren’t, please be patience. It was a great teaching.
Passover Video – The Timeline
NOTE: I included this video as a study tool. If you feel it is wrong in its teaching, please send me your support materials for another day, even if it’s for a Friday crucifixion. I’m open to learning more. I personally can’t say I fully understand this matter myself, but I will continue to study this matter. When I come to a final decision I’ll let you know. However, I do believe he died on the day the teacher mentions in this video.
Should We Celebrate His Death?
According to Paul we are to remember Jesus’ death by having communion. (1 Corinthians 11:17-34) This is the ceremony we are to follow. Some people add in the washing of feet because that is what Jesus did for his disciples during their last supper together. I see nothing wrong with this because it is scriptural.
Remembering Jesus’ death allows us to remember that it was because of him that we have the opportunity to be in right standing with the Father. The key here is not to worship his death in the same manner as other people worship the dead. Jesus didn’t stay dead. He got up. He walked out of his tomb. He taught his disciples some more. Then he went to sit at the right hand of God Almighty, the God of the universe. This is what his death should remind us.
We should also remember the stripes he received healed our diseases (should we have any), the blood he shed covered our sins, allowing us the chance to approach our Father who is in heaven, and the grace in which he died showed us how to forgive even our enemies.
Most importantly, we should remember that everything he did was out of love. There was love from the Father to Jesus, from Jesus to his Father, from the Father to us, and from Jesus to us. When we accept what he has done to bring us back to the Father then we should our love for them both. This is how we celebrate his death.
Personally, I’m sorry that it had to take all this to bring us back to the Father, but I am ever so grateful that he did.
Our Heavenly Father, who is in heaven,
Help us to rightly divide your word in all truth, which will help us to walk properly before you. Help us to leave traditions behind while following after your truth.
In Yeshua the Messiah’s name, Amen.
“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.” (Matthew 28:1 KJV)
“After Shabbat, as the next day was dawning, Miryam of Magdala and the other Miryam went to see the grave.” (Matthew 28:1 CJB)