Why is Good Friday good?
Why good, when so many bad things happened to Jesus on this Friday?
Good used to mean 'holy' or 'pious', and so Good Friday is more like Holy Friday, much as the week leading up to Easter is called Holy Week.
Some experts think that Good Friday is a contraction of God's Friday, much as 'God be with you' has been shortened to 'goodbye'.
Language changes but the importance of this day for humanity remains constant
How can we imagine what it was like: watching Jesus Christ hang on the cross and slowly die? It took about six hours. The skies grew dark and at about 3pm he hung his head, committed his spirit to his Father and died.
Enacting this out, even as part of the crowd, can be unforgettable. I still remember a simple performance in the chapel of the trial and death of Jesus Christ when I was seventeen. Ever since I have looked for similar plays or services of meditation at the foot of the cross on Good Friday.
I have prepared a selection of music from different Christian traditions, to help us contemplate the scene at Golgotha.
To finish my series of sketches of the cross, I've attempted a crucifix. It was a moving experience to draw in the nails and the scars on my Lord, an act of meditation in itself.
The first song sets the scene.
The other four help us imagine the scene from the crowds point of view. I wouldn't rush these. Taken altogether they are quite an experience, but you may want to pause for reflection or to return later.
I pray that you find them as inspirational as I have.
To set the scene - the High Priests from the Musicals
The crowd - from Handel's Messiah
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
With stills from the film The Passion and relevant scriptures, this powerful video looks mainly through Mary's eyes. If you only want to watch one video, choose this one, but I recommend that afterwards you watch the next song as well.
Behold the man upon the cross
A modern chorus which reflects on why Jesus died for us.