Good Friday and Easter

March 29, 2024

This weekend is the end of Lent and Holy Week, an important time for millions of Christians worldwide. The terms “Good Friday” and “Easter” despite being so well known have hidden meanings behind them. “Good Friday” does not refer to the day actually being a “good” day, but it refers to the piousness of the day. It is used similarly to its usage in the term “Good Book”, which isn’t literally saying that the book was good, but rather refers to the holiness of the Bible or other religious text. Easter, on the other hand, most likely comes from the pagan goddess of spring Eostre.

In Jesus’s life, following the events of “The Last Supper,” Judas betrayed Jesus and marked him for the priests by kissing him early Friday. The priests and local rulers ordered the Temple Guards to arrest and question him in a Sanhedrin court, a court based on Jewish teachings. There, he answered the priests that he was the Son of God, and they condemned him to death for blasphemy. Jewish leaders were given many powers by the Romans, but could not sentence someone to death, meaning that they had to convince Governor Pontius Pilate to do so. While Pilate deemed Jesus to be innocent and determined that the correct punishment was whipping, the crowd demanded that he be crucified and Barabbas, another prisoner, be released. 

Fearing a riot, Pilate obliged the crowd and symbolically washed his hands to show that Jesus’ spilled blood was not his doing. As was the punishment, Jesus had to carry his cross to Golgotha, a hill shaped like a skull. He was nailed on the cross for nine agonizing hours, with the sky turning black. Upon his death, the Bible says that an earthquake shook the ground, and blew open tombs and curtains. Followers of Jesus asked Pilate for the body and wrapped him in linen and preservatives inside a tomb. Three days later on Easter Sunday, Christians believe that he was resurrected.

While today is a sad day for followers, it is a reminder of the process of renewal that is so paramount to Christianity and the Abrahamic religions. Sunday will complete this yearly renewal and challenge that started Lent with Ash Wednesday. Happy Easter!

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