“According to Scripture: A Brief History of the Good Friday, and Its Theological Value”
“May Christ’s sacrifice give us the courage to offer our own bodies for justice and peace.”
–Oscar Romero (1917 – 1980)
What did happen to Jesus on Good Friday?
Take a look at the chart below for references in the Bible:
I. The Historicity of the Good Friday and the Death of Jesus
- Jesus prayed in Gethsemane.
- He is betrayed by Judas.
- He was put on trial before the Jewish Supreme Court: the Sanhedrin
- The Sanhedrin condemned Jesus to death.
- Peter, one of Jesus’ famous disciplines, betrayed Jesus.
- Jesus was put on trial before Pilate.
- Jesus appeared before Herod for a trial.
- Jesus appeared before Pilate for a second trial.
- Before his death, the Roman soldiers whipped him, beat him, mocked him, and pierced his body (side).
- The Roman soldiers crucified Jesus.
- While hanging on the cross, Jesus made seven great statements. His last words were “It is finished.”
- Jesus is declared dead.
- He was buried before sundown.
II. The Theological and Practical Significance of Good Friday
A. The writers of the New Testament interpret the death of Jesus as a sacrificial atonement for the sins of God’s human creations. In other words, they attributed a cosmic significance to the death of Jesus and construed it as an act of human courage and determination.
B. All of them argue that Jesus’ death was a substitution for the death of God’s image bearers. In other words, Jesus is a model of true love, human servanthood, and selflessness.
C. The writers of the Christian New Testament contend that on the Good Friday, Jesus died as a remission for the sins of all people and all ethnicity, both Jews and non-Jews, men and women, male and female, and the LGBTQ+ people, to use a contemporary concept.
D. According to these same writers, Jesus’ death not only effectuated divine peace (having peace with God, living in peace and understanding with God); also, it established divine forgiveness and secured reconciliation between God and his image bearers.
E. According to Paul, a famous writer of the New Testament books, the death of Jesus means freedom from dominion of sins, no condemnation, justification before God, and new creation. In other words, Jesus’ death offers a model for struggle against injustice and contemporary conversations on human liberation and rights.
As Father Oscar Romero (1917-1980) wrote: “May Christ’s sacrifice give us the courage to offer our own bodies for justice and peace.”
F. According to Peter, another famous writer of the New Testament Scriptures, the sufferings and death of Jesus on Good Friday are connected to the idea and way of biblical discipleship; in that regard, following Jesus might lead to human suffering, even death.
G. The New Testament writers sustain the idea that Jesus’ death on the Good Friday is a proclamation of a new and quality of life, what they theoretically phrased the “eternal life,” and the birth of a new creation, what they theoretically called the “new people of God.”
H. The authors of the New Testament interpret the events of the Good Friday and the death of Jesus as credible and reliable historical transactions (see # 1-13 above).
I. Finally, because of the historical value and theological implications attributed to the Good Friday and the death of Jesus, the writers of the New Testament make a clarion call to God’s human creations to believe in Jesus, to follow him, and to proclaim the meaning of Jesus’ death as the good news for all people and for the world–as they continue to live on this earth.
Happy Good Friday!