Today is known as Good Friday [derived from “God’s Friday” or “Holy Friday”]. Today we reach the culminating events ending Jesus Christ’s mortal life. The events are now too numerous to recount in detail in just one blog post. Jesus has been betrayed, illegally arrested, falsely accused, and even denied by his most trusted friends.
He has been emotionally and physically abused, and has suffered every kind of injustice and deprivation. He has truly been pressed down to the lowest point, and wrung out as prophesied, “[trod in] the winepress alone.”
As he is dragged before Caiaphas his prophesy that Peter would deny him thrice comes to pass.
Jesus has two hearings before the Roman consul Pontius Pilate who does not find fault in the accused man. However, eventually, Pilot bends to the pressure of the crowd, turning the decision of Jesus’ fate over to the angry mob, who cry for the release of Barabbas the heinous murderer, in exchange for the death of Jesus of Nazareth, the gentle rabbi.
Pilate symbolically washes his hands “from the blood of this innocent man,” and orders the crucifixion process to commence.
The final hours of Jesus’ agonizing death are nearly unbearable to contemplate. The scriptures recount that even the sun turned away, and the earth collapsed into darkness. For one devastating period, even the Spirit of God departs, so that Jesus can intimately know the feeling of ultimate abandonment we may each experience in this life due to sin.
Even as Jesus was being tortured, mocked and brutally killed, he still extended love to those who carried out the deeds.
“Father, Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
His precious blood he freely spilt;
His life he freely gave,
A sinless sacrifice for guilt,
A dying world to save.
-Eliza R. Snow, Hymn 195
At last, the ultimate sacrifice for mankind was made. The price was paid in full, and Jesus finished his divine mission.
“Father, it is Finished. Into Thy hands I commend my spirit.”
The crucifixion came. Jesus needed to die, that he might open the graves of all men as his own tomb was opened. Without the deep darkness of the crucifixion hour, there could have been no spring of coming from the grave.
“For in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
– Spencer W. Kimball, Why Call Me Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say?, April 1975