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Good Friday of the Lord's Passion

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I, if I be lifted up, will draw all things to myself.
— John 12:32

The cohort and its tribune and the Jewish guards seized Jesus and bound him.  They took him first to Annas, because Annas was the father-in law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year.  It was Caiaphas who had counselled the Jews, "It is better for one man to die for the people."   The high priest questioned Jesus about his teaching and then sent him to Caiaphas who then had him led to Pilate in the Praetorium.  Pilate called Jesus to him and asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?"  Jesus replied, "Do you ask this of your own accord or have others said it to you about me?"   Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me; what have you done?"   Jesus replied, "Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews.  As it is, my kingdom does not belong here."  Pilate said, "So, then you are a King?"  Jesus answered, "It is you who say that I am a king.  I was born for this I came into the world for this, to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice."  "Truth?" said Pilate. "What is that?"  And so saying he went out again to the Jews and said, "I find no case against him.  But according to a custom of yours I should release one prisoner at the Passover; would you like me then to release for you the king of the Jews?"  At this they shouted, "Not this man, they said, but Barabbas."  Barabbas was a bandit.

Pilate then had Jesus taken away and scourged and after this, the soldiers twisted some thorns into a crown and put it on his head and dressed him a purple robe.  They kept coming up to him and saying, "Hail, king of the Jews!" and slapping him in the face.  Pilate came outside again and said to them, "Look, I am going to bring him out to you to let you see that I find no case against him."  Jesus then came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe.  Pilate said, "Behold the man."  When they saw him, the chief priests and the guards shouted, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"  Pilate said, "Take him yourselves and crucify him.  I find no case against him."  Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.    Carrying his own cross he went out to the Place of the Skull or, as it is  called in Hebrew, Golgotha.

He meets his mother Mary.  His Mother was carrying her grief along with his. Her grief over his suffering wracked her sorrowful heart, and the anguish showed in her eyes.    As Mother embraced Son, the dust, sweat, and blood covering Him mingled with the tears that she shed. The pain of the Cross was being shared by this most holy woman, who had helped him grow to this point in life.  His love for her—and for us—gave him the strength to move on. Come and see if you can endure so sad a sight. This Mother, so tender and loving, meets her beloved Son, meets him amid an impious rabble, who drag him to a cruel death, wounded, torn by stripes, crowned with thorns, streaming with blood, bearing his heavy cross.  Just consider the grief of the blessed Virgin thus beholding her Son! Who would not weep at seeing this Mother's grief? But who has been the cause of such woe?   I, it is I, who with my sins have so cruelly wounded the heart of my sorrowing Mother! And yet often I am not moved; often I am as a stone, when my heart should be breaking.

They crucified him with two others, one on either side, Jesus being in the middle.  Pilate wrote out a notice and had it fixed to the cross; it ran "Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews"   This notice was read by many of the Jews, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city and the writing was in Hebrew, Latin and Greek.  So the Jewish chief priests said to Pilate, "You should not write 'King of the Jews' but that the man said, 'I am King of the Jews."  Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."

When the soldiers had finished crucifying Jesus they took his clothing and divided it into four shares, one for each soldier.  His undergarment was seamless, woven in one piece from neck to hem; so they said to one another, "Instead of tearing it let's throw dice to decide who is to have it."  In this way the words of scripture were fulfilled:  "They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothes."  That is what the soldiers did.

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary of Magdala.  Seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, "Woman, this is your son."  Then to the disciple he said, "This is your mother."  And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.   After this, Jesus knew that everything had now been completed and so that the scripture should be completely fulfilled he said: "I am thirsty."  A jar full of sour wine stood there; so putting a sponge soaked in the wine on a hyssop stick, they held it up to his mouth.  After Jesus had taken the wine he said, "It is finished;" and bowing his head he gave up his spirit.

To avoid the bodies remaining on the cross during the Sabbath, the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away.  When they came to Jesus, they saw he was already dead and so instead of breaking his legs one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance and immediately there came out blood and water. 

Joseph of Arimathaea went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate granted the body to Joseph who took Jesus down from the cross.

They then wrapped Jesus' body in a clean linen shroud with spices, following the Jewish burial custom.  At the place where he had been crucified there was a garden and in this garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been buried.  They laid Jesus there.

~ Excerpts from the Gospel of John and the Liturgy of the Hours for Good Friday

Things to Do:

  • Today is a day of fasting, prayer, silence; a day of loving endurance with our Savior, in remembrance of His Sacrifice.

  • Pray the Stations of the Cross

  • Pray the....... Liturgy of the Hours

Earlier Event: April 18
Holy Thursday
Later Event: April 20
Holy Saturday