The time for Jesus’ execution has arrived.
The one day during Holy Week that we call “good” is also the darkest, most painful day — Good Friday. So what is it that’s good about this day?
After sharing a Passover meal with his friends, Jesus takes them for a short walk across the Kidron Valley, into a garden. He enters a deep, excruciating time of prayer there and asks God to spare him of his fate — Jesus knows he will soon be murdered.
In the early hours of the night, Judas uses what should be an expression of love — a kiss — to betray Jesus. He tells Roman soldiers that the one he kisses is the one they are looking for, and after he does it, Jesus is taken into custody. Powerful men use deception and coercion to find Jesus guilty and condemn him to death. But Jesus loves each of them, even though they wish to harm him, and rather than fighting back, he remains silent when accused.
Jesus is publicly tortured and mocked as people spit on him and beat him bloody. He is stripped naked and led away to be crucified. He endures beatings, scourging, and gut-wrenching humiliation. Outside the city, his accusers nail him to a cross where he eventually dies. Before dying, he prays for the people who are killing him. “Father, forgive them,” he says, “for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). God’s unbreakable love for every human being, including his enemies, shines bright on this dark, deadly Good Friday.
In today’s video, walk through the events of Holy Week according to Luke’s gospel account.
Prayer for Good Friday
Almighty God, we beseech you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
— Book of Common Prayer