What a day in human history

Published 8:35 am Friday, March 30, 2018

It was “the day of preparation.” Falling on the 14thof Nisan, it was the day that followed Passover and the eve of the Holy Sabbath.

Religious leaders, “the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law,” had, in an attempt to get rid of Jesus, brought charges against him and brought him before Pilate, the Procurator of Judea. Pilate, finding “no basis for a charge against” Jesus but hearing their “loud shouts” demanding that he be “crucified,” made a decision that will forever be remembered.  When he “saw that he was getting nowhere,” he caved in to the demands, “took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd,” and proclaimed, “I am innocent of his blood.” 

Then, he said, “It is your responsibility!” And he “decided to grant their demand.”

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On a day before a holy day, Jesus was, on unsubstantiated charges, condemned by popular demand. After being condemned, Roman soldiers led him away, “a purple robe” was placed upon him, and “a crown of thorns was” forced on his head. 

The crowds mocked him and cried out, “Hail, King of the Jews!” as he was taken to Golgotha, the Place of the Skull, just outside the wall of Jerusalem. There, he was nailed to a cross, the cross was raised and carelessly dropped into a hole, and for three hours, he hung there in extreme agony. 

“From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.”  Then, “about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice,” and “he gave up his spirit.”

The Holy Day was approaching, and things had to be done orderly. 

“As evening approached,” Joseph of Arimathea came and asked for the body of Jesus, and Pilate “ordered that it be given to him.” Joseph “took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock.” 

And the day of preparation ended.

Ironically, that is a day remembered, and we call it Good Friday.