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All that is good about Good Friday

MAN HAD sinned and the gates of Heaven had been closed on him forever. Then God in his infinite mercy, sent his only son into the world so that by His Sacrifice, man may be redeemed from all its sin and be saved from eternal damnation.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 00:18 IST

MAN HAD sinned and the gates of Heaven had been closed on him forever. Then God in his infinite mercy, sent his only son into the world so that by His Sacrifice, man may be redeemed from all its sin and be saved from eternal damnation.

So Christ came into the world as a human, lived here, taught and preached. His simplistic teachings, sans the frills and bother of rituals, endeared him immediately to the people. However, his growing popularity and hold over the masses became an eyesore for the chief priests and the Pharisees. They felt they were losing hold over the people. His teachings were misconstrued and taken as liable to incite violence and rebellion among the masses.

And even as they searched for a way to implicate him, Judas Iscariot came as the perfect opportunity. By a pre-arranged sign he had Jesus arrested. He was taken before the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate who met the deputation, which accused Him of being a 'malefactor'.

Pilate declared that he could find no fault in Jesus and that they should release Him but the crowd vehemently cried out, "Not this man, but Barabbas (a thief and murderer)." Pilate answered, "What then shall I do with Jesus?" The fierce cry immediately followed. "Let him be crucified”.

Pilate yielded, and calling for water, he washed his hands in the sight of the people, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person." Then Jesus was given up to them, and led away to be crucified.

Like a common criminal, the Saviour of the world was nailed to a cross, hung on it for three hours of sheer agony, before he proclaimed, “It is done,” and then gave up the soul.

The day went down in history as 'Good Friday' and while it remains one of mourning - marked by a day-long fast and prayers - there is also relief and joy buried deep somewhere in the grief. The reason as theologists and the learned say, is, that Christ, by His supreme sacrifice, not only redeemed the sins of all those who came before Him, but also of all generations to come after Him.

Christians all over the world believe that it is a day of deliverance from sin and suffering, and hence, the prefix 'Good'.