Good Friday and Easter are significant festivals for Christians. As the Holy Bible says, Jesus Christ was born, died on a cross and raised from dead for eternal life are three core events for Christian believers. The first is celebrated as Christmas day, the second as Good Friday and the third event as Easter Sunday. Here we are going to talk about lesser-known events – Good Friday and Easter Sunday. It is very interesting to know about the history, facts and reasons to celebrate. The beauty of this season is the family get-togethers, delicious delicacies, peaceful family prayers, exchange of gifts and fun props like Easter egg and bunny. So dig in and read more about these in our researched blog below.
Easter Timeline – From Ash Wednesday, Holy Week to Easter Sunday
This Festival is not a one-day event rather a 40 days remembrance. It starts from Ash Wednesday when Jesus was arrested and goes on till Easter Sunday when he was alive again. Here is the timeline and sequence of events.
Know All About Good Friday: What, When, How & Why?
What is Good Friday?
In Christianity, Good Friday is a significant day that reminds us of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, Son of God, for the sins of the World. This sorrowful event began from Ash Wednesday when He was arrested after being betrayed by one of His disciples, Judas. Later, he went through 40 days of trial by the Jews and Roman Soldiers, and finally, Jesus was hanged on the cross to death after brutal physical condemnation.
In essence, Good Friday is a day when an individual who believes in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and as their personal Savior commemorate his brutal death in the hands of the Roman soldiers that was instigated and approved by the Jews. Jews? Do you wonder why!
Why Jews have to carry out such activity to kill this Man called Jesus Christ? What Jews had to do with him anyways? We will try to unfold the facts.
Who is Jesus Christ? English God or Prophet or Historical Figure?
Just like most people in the world, if not all, I had this understanding that Jesus Christ, a historical figure lived from 4 BC to 30 AD is a God incarnation or a Prophet embraced and worshipped by almost every western country in the world. So, naturally, I assumed that He is a God of the English people, Europeans and the Americans. But when I started to do my research on this subject to write this blog for my readers, it came as a big surprise that He actually was not what I supposed Him to be. He was not a western God or a Prophet, but a Jew born in a little town of Bethlehem in the land of Judea or the Kingdom of Judah in the country of Israel.
|Few Amazing Facts about Jesus Christ:|
• He was a Jew, an Israelite.
• He is not an English people God, but they did embrace Him and worshipped Him as the Son of God sent as the Savior of humankind.
• He is the central figure of Christianity, the world’s largest religion with an approx. 2.382 Billion followers.
Why was Jesus Killed in the First Place?
Naturally, the question arises why a person born in Israel as a Jew was killed by his very own people! And why the people in the world who follow Him or worship Him call this day of His death “Good Friday”. What good can come out of someone’s painful death? Interesting, isn’t it!
It turned out to be a moment to ponder what He did to deserve such a cruel death? Why did His own people betray him? Historic facts confirm that unarguably the Roman crucifixion was the most brutal capital punishment given to a criminal under the rule of the Roman Empire.
Well, if I take down my research a bit deeper, we might get an answer for this day.
What was his Wrongdoing that led Him to Crucifixion?
So let’s attempt to take down the final crackdown on this subject called Good Friday. I have seen people all over the world celebrating the birth anniversary of many notable and influential people/prophets/godmen that walked on earth and did pretty amazing things, but none celebrate their death anniversaries!! Stay with me to know the reasons for this.
When Jesus was on earth, He claimed that He is the Son of God and the Messiah sent by God. When the people of Israel saw the miracles He did, i.e. raising the dead, healing the lepers, restoring sight to the blind, walking on the sea, feeding 5000+ people with just 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes and many more, they wanted to take Him by force to make Him their King to free them from the Roman occupation and its taxes.
But Jesus clarified that He didn’t come to save the people of Israel from the Roman occupation or slavery, but He came to free the people of Israel and the people of the world from the bondage of “SIN”. It is written in the Holy Bible, Gospel of John chapter 3 verses 16 & 17.
“16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
This is one of the causes why Jews were disappointed and did not fully believe in Jesus as their Messiah. Reason, they did not understand the truth He said, that He came to free them from the Sin; rather looked for freedom from Romans.
To my surprise, the book of Isaiah (written 700 years before the birth of Jesus) says in chapter 53 from the Nevi’im – Prophets (Tanakh, Jewish Sacred Writings), and can also refer to the same that Messiah who will come, will bare sins of many.
When Jesus Christ was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane by the soldiers and was presented before the Jewish High Priest,
“63… And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God! 64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Source: Holy Bible, Book of Matthew chapter 26 verse 63 & 64.
In the verses above, when the high priest questions Jesus as to who He is? Jesus said that He is the Christ or Messiah, the Son of God who will sit at the right hand of Power coming on the clouds of heaven!!
What does this mean, and why did it anger the Jews to put Him on the cross!
For the answer, we again head to the Jewish Writings and Bible verses. From the book of Daniel (written 606 years before Jesus Christ was born), we find-
“13 I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him.”
Source: Ketuvim – Tanakh, Jewish Sacred Writings (Book of Daniel chapter 7 verse 13)
Here, we see a Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven, and he came to Ancient of Days (Ancient of Days here refers to Yahweh – The God of Jews). Now, who is this “Son of Man” who came on the clouds of heaven? In the book of Daniel, this term means God’s Son who would come down in the form of man. In other words, what Jesus meant He and Yahweh are ONE.
This statement thoroughly made the Jews angry. And we see this in the reply.
“Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy!”
“What do you think? They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.”
Source: Holy Bible-Book of Matthew chapter 26 verse 65 & 66
And the world witnessed what happened next when the Jewish people crucified Jesus Christ on the cross with the help of the Romans.
What is the significance of Good Friday?
This day holds great importance in a Christian belief. In 33AD, Jesus was arrested by Pontius Pilate and order crucifixion. Jesus sacrificed and paid for the sins of the World. He was beaten with metal edge whips, crowned with thorny branches.
If He was a criminal, it’s quite interesting to explore and note why many people follow Him and celebrate His death every year!
“The only person whose death is celebrated in the world is Jesus Christ.”
How to Celebrate and Wish Good Friday, 2021?
Good Friday is a day of mourning, and it is actually not a day to rejoice. At the same time, it is a day when Jesus took the sins of the World on Him that whoever believes in Him will be saved, and all their sins will be washed away. This forgiveness of sins and display of mercy is what make this Friday a ‘Good Friday’.
In 2021, Easter will celebrate it on 2nd April. If you wonder how Christians spend this Holy day, then I must tell you that it varies according to country, region, culture, doctrine, personal conviction and more. In India, there is a church service that may be of 3 to 5 hours long. The core message of the sermon is generally centred on the seven statements Jesus said from the cross. You might have heard one “Father forgive them, as they do not know what they are doing”.
Some people fast on this day and restrain from eating meat. However, some believe that this event happened once, and now Christ is not on the cross so rather than mourning, one should be rejoicing and express gratitude for what He has done for us.
Know All about the Easter Festival
What is Easter Sunday?
In essence, Easter is the day when Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead and displayed that there is life after death. He stayed on earth for 40 days and then lifted up to heaven with a promise to come back again. There were more than 500 people who witnessed and documented this event. Christians all over the world celebrate this day with great joy. They remember their forefathers and close ones who are no more with them. However, this remembrance is not with mourning or sorrow instead; it is full of hope to see them again one day with their Lord Jesus in heaven.
Now that we understood what Good Friday and Easter are let’s try and understand the final piece
Why is Easter celebrated on the Third day of Good Friday?
After Crucifixion, Jesus’s body laid in the heavily guarded tomb for Saturday and on the third day, some women came to the tomb and found the heavy rock on the tomb was kept open. They were so afraid, and the angel told them, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell His disciples. It was an unbelievable incident, and Christians celebrate the Easter festival, remembering the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore Easter is celebrated on the third day of Good Friday.
What is the Significance of Easter?
Easter is the most significant festival in Christian belief; yes, it is more important than Christmas Day. It won’t be wrong if I say that the entire Christian doctrine and belief stands on this incident; the display that there is life after death and Jesus came down to bring us back to God.
As you read before, there are 3 major events of Jesus Christ that Christians all over the world follow – Christmas, Good Friday and Easter.
- Christmas is the day celebrated as the birthday of Jesus Christ
- Good Friday is the day celebrated the death day of Jesus Christ
- Easter is the day celebrated as the resurrected day of Jesus Christ from death
Now the whole belief system of Christianity hangs on two major events i.e., Good Friday and the Easter. Yes, you read it right and not Christmas!
Now we attempt to answer ‘Why His Death on a Friday Is Called Good and How It Is Related To The Easter?’ My research on this subject turned out to be simple and direct.
Why, because, if Christ didn’t shed His blood and sacrificed His life on the cross for the sins committed by the human race from the beginning of the world, the complete human race will die in sins and will not be able to inherit eternity with the God the Father or Yahweh. And if He didn’t rise again from the death which the Christians call as the Easter, then His sacrifice on the cross to take away the sins of the world will lose its value and the essence completely.
That is why a Good Friday is called “Good”, because of what He did on the Sunday morning called Easter. He defeated the death, the last enemy of the Human race and rose again alive to live forevermore. And this is the hope that He supplies to everyone who believes in Him – Eternal Life beyond death. This is the main reason Christian celebrate Good Friday and Easter. Now let’s see how it is celebrated in the present day.
How to Celebrate Easter Festival? Why Easter Eggs and Bunny is used?
Easter comes in the pleasant season of spring and fills us with the hope of new life. This year it is going to be on 4th April 2021. Traditionally, it was celebrated with candles, flowers, hymns and prayers. However, now the contemporary world has attached some fun elements to the celebration. In the season, you will see colorful beautiful Easter eggs and Easter bunny everywhere.
- The most common way to celebrate Easter Sunday is by attending the early morning Sunrise Church Service. Across the World, Christians gather before the sunrise and sing hymns, worship and prayer holding a candle.
- Christians gather around the grave of their loved ones and light candles, and decorate the grave with flowers. The church service is organized in graveyard campus to pray and worship.
- It is also a fun family activity where kids paint hard-boiled eggs with vibrant colors. There are egg-shaped chocolates and decoration ornaments. Further, they participate in Easter egg hunt in house backyard.
- The stories go that the Easter bunny brings chocolates and Easter eggs for the children. In a few countries, kids prepare their Easter basket and keep it outdoor in the evening before Easter, hoping that bunny will fill the basket with exciting gifts. So, the kids receive Easter baskets full of chocolates, candies, snacks and more from their parents.
- In some countries, people take part in the Easter Parade with colorful dresses and props. Especially in New York City there is a tradition to parade along 5th Avenue. This time, the city seems to come alive with vibrant spring colors, flowery bonnets and music. It is beautiful to see the joy and smiles spreading along.
- Family Dinner with special delicacies.
How Indian Christians Celebrate Easter and Good Friday?
As the spirit of the festival is the same, but there are many ways to celebrate this amazing day. In India, there is 2.3% of Christian population spread across the country. Now we will try to figure out how Good Friday and Easter looks like in this part of the world.
My Personal Experience
On Good Friday we have a long Church Service and we are reminded of the day of crucifixion. It is a sacred day of prayer, fasting and worship. Any celebration and joyful music is restricted; in some families, eating non-veg food is restricted.
Our Easter Sunday starts very early, around 3 am as we needed to be at the Cemetery for the church service that starts at 4 am. We carry baskets of flowers, including garlands, loose stick flowers, famous Easter lily, along with many packets of candles and incense sticks.
After reaching the graveyard, my entire family gathers around my grandfather’s grave and decorates it with beautiful flowers, flowers in cross and flower in a wreath. We lit candles and decorate the grave from all sides. Incense sticks are also lit and the surrounding is fragment all around. That atmosphere is absolutely surreal. Then the service starts with hymns and prayers bringing us close to the meaning and significance of this day.
After the Church sermon gets over, the congregation meets with everyone. There are exchanges of greetings similar to Christmas wishes. We also visit other graves of our relatives and forefathers with flowers and candles.
After the celebration in cemetery, we come back home and have the family prayer. Following this, we have fantastic breakfast with all delicacies. The joy of family get-together and family lunch is also an amazing time.
As all the regions in the country have very different culture and tradition, so the Easter experience also differs accordingly. The culture of Goa is very different from that of North-Eastern.
Good Friday Messages to Wish Your Friends and Family
- “Praying that the Lord all your Heart with peace. Holds you in His Love and Blesses you with His grace… On this Holy Day and Always.”
- “Good Friday marks the slaying of our Jesus, The unblemished lamb, the perfect sacrifice. He took our guilt a “We who are enlisted to be fellow-workers with God know that..death did not have the last word, that Good Friday was not the end of the story.”
- “On this Good Friday may we never forget the true meaning of Easter – ‘For when He was on the cross, I was on His mind.”
- “If Christ is God, He cannot sin, and if suffering was a sin in and by itself, He could not have suffered and died for us. However, since He took the most horrific death to redeem us, He showed us in fact that suffering and pain have great power.” ― E.A. Bucchianeri
- The Cross! There, and there only though the deist rave, and the atheist, if Earth bears so base a slave; There and there only, is the power to save.
- Stoning prophets and erecting churches to their memory afterwards has been the way of the world through the ages. Today we worship Christ, but the Christ in the flesh we crucified.
- Maybe the Good Friday story is about how God would rather die than be in our sin-accounting business anymore.
- Happy Good Friday! May God turn this Good Friday into a blissful beginning of your life. May God fill your life with goodness on this holy day.
- I hope our savior bless you always and you give him the most superior place in your heart. Have a holy Good Friday with your dear ones.
- May this day bring blessing in your house as you continue to grow in Christ. As it is said take part in His suffering and He will embrace you in His glory.
Happy Easter Wishes and Quotes 2021 You Can Choose to Share
- I believe in Christ, like I believe in the sun – not because I can see it, but by it I can see everything else. -C.S. Lewis
- Easter is one of my favorite holidays with the kids. They get to run loose, and we always have our family and loved ones all around us! -Camila Alves
- And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. -Corinthians 6:14
- Spring adds new life and new joy to all that is. Jessica Harrelson
- We proclaim the resurrection of Christ when his light illuminates the dark moments of our existence.- Pope Francis
- The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day He created spring. Bernard Williams
- Easter is the demonstration of God that life is essentially spiritual and timeless. -Charles M. Crowe
- Be thankful because Jesus gave us another chance to be a good person. His death cleansed us from our sins.
- The risen Christ is celebrated in every opened flower, in every beam of nourishing sunlight, in every small patch of green beneath our feet. Easter blessings.
- Easter reminds us that hope must never be lost for as dark as the road may seem, there always lies light at the end of it. May all your prayers be fulfilled. May you have a pleasant Easter!
According to the Christian Holy Bible, Good Friday and Easter are unique and important events in the history of humankind. It is celebrated across the globe, and every country has a different way of rejoicing in this festival. In this blog, we have focused on the significance of these two important events, giving insights on how it is celebrated in India.
Good Friday was the day when Jesus Christ was hanged to death, and on the third day, Easter Sunday, he was resurrected from dead.
According to the New Testament of the Holy Bible, on Good Friday, Jesus Christ was hanged on the cross by piercing nails in His wrist and feet. He took His last breath on that day and buried in a tomb. On Easter day, Jesus was resurrected in body, and many people witness this wonder and believed in Him.
On Good Friday, Christians attend Church Service that reminds of the day when Lord Jesus Christ was hanged brutally. Many hold fasting on that day and restrain eating meat. It is a day of mourning, and traditionally there is no celebration on this day.
It won’t be right to state that one day was more important than another. Rather both the days are equally significant. Good Friday shows the unending love of God that He gave His only Son to die for us, and Easter shows that death is not the end, and the promise of eternity is true.
According to the Holy Bible, after Jesus Christ died, he was resurrected on the third day. So ye it is always celebrated on the third day.
Good Friday is called Good because of what happened on Easter Sunday. On this day God shed his blood to save sinful humankind once and for all and re-established the broken relationship with God.