Today most people know this day as Good Friday. To the Jews of Jesus’s day, it is Preparation Day – the day before the sabbath. On the date of Christ’s crucifixion, it is the day before Passover Sabbath.
Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”
But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant their demand. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.
As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.
Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, “Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then
“they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
And to the hills, “Cover us!”
For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” ~ Luke 23:20-31
By evening Jesus dies for the sins of humankind. Our Heavenly Father has sent His only Son Jesus as the only sacrifice who can purchase our eternal life with His own sufferings and spilled blood - the expected Messiah who takes away the sins of the world!
Joseph of Arimathea asks permission of Pilate for the body of Jesus. Once granted, Joseph takes down the bloody body of Jesus from the cross and wraps it in linen cloth that he has purchased. He places the body inside a newly made tomb cut into rock and rolls a large stone in front of the tomb entrance for security. As Preparation Day draws to a close, Mary Magdalene and Mary, mother of younger James, have been watching from a distance.
Also, certain leaders of Jerusalem witness these events at the graveside. They want to see with their own eyes that Jesus is DEAD and be able to show eyewitness PROOF from Roman soldiers left to guard the tomb that Jesus stays put! Well, we will check back in three days ...
My preferred name for Good Friday is Redemption Day, for it was on this day that Jesus became our Savior; He became our sacrificial Lamb Who gave himself for a sin debt He did not owe. HALLELUJAH! REDEMPTION DAY!! We remember this day, Father God, and put our trust in our LORD JESUS to cover our sins with His blood, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Amen
Photo Credit: women at the tomb; ©Canstock Photo Inc /Anke