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Good Friday is celebrated by most Christians as the day that Jesus Christ dies and rose for the forgiveness of his followers’ sins. Jesus further promised his followers eternal life in heaven. This year it is celebrated on April 2, 2021.
Typically, Christians celebrate Jesus’s resurrection every spring on Easter Sunday — which is April 4th this year. Only 12 states in the United States consider Good Friday as an official holiday. Basically, this day is for Christians to remember and mourn the death of Jesus Christ.
According to the Bible, it was on this day that religious leaders arrested Christ for claiming to be the son of God — and King of the Jews. Jesus was sentenced to crucifixion — by the leaders — for his teachings. Crucifixion was the highest form of punishment at this time period.
Then Jesus was beaten and forced to carry a heavy wooden cross through heckling crowds. At the end of his long, gruesome journey Jesus was nailed to a cross by his wrists and feet. He was then hung until he died.
Many people have questioned why it is referred to as Good Friday since it has such a grim origin. According to Fiona MacPherson, Senior Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, in this case, the word good means it “designates a day on (or sometimes a season in) which religious observance is held.” Meaning it is a season or day observed as holy by the church.
Many Christians use Good Friday to solemnly honor the way Jesus suffered and died for their sins. Some may attend a service that recounts the painful crucifixion Jesus endured. Another way some may mourn Jesus’s death is by showing their sorrow by refraining from eating.
On Good Friday churches will strip their alters bare and muffle the sound of their bells as a sign of mourning. Two days later, Christians will celebrate the day of Jesus’s resurrection with Easter Sunday.
Written by Sheena Robertson
Readers Digest: What Is Good Friday and Why Do We Celebrate It?; by Brooke Nelson
Time and Date: Good Friday in the United States
Featured Image Courtesy of Lawrence OP’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of Wayne S. Grazio’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License