Today, Good Friday, thousands of Catholics and Protestants are remembering the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. Jesus was falsely accused of heresy and was put to death via crucifixion. The entire process was approximately a six-hour ordeal.
Crucifixion was a method of execution in which the hands and feet were bound and nailed to the cross. It was one of the most painful and horribly disgraceful methods of capital punishment. The word “crucifixion” comes from the Latin “crucifixio,” or “crucifixus,” meaning “fixed to a cross.”
Jerusalem Catholics and Protestants trace his footsteps through the Old City, where it is recorded that he walked on his way to the death. Pilgrims around the world, some carrying large wooden crosses, walk the 14 stations along the route. Each station marks an event that befell Jesus on his final journey.
The final station is inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where many Christians believe Jesus was crucified and laid to rest before his resurrection on that Sunday.
In the United States, many Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ through religious ceremonies, including readings of the Passion of the Christ, prayer, communion services, and reenactments of his experience. Schools are closed, and many employers allow their employees to leave early to attend services or prepare for their Sunday celebrations, which are more centered on Easter than the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This year, the FOX network produced The Passion, a live musical narrated by renowned Tyler Perry. The choreographed musical was produced in the streets of New Orleans and was released at the beginning of Palm Sunday. Entertainment Weekly produced a list of songs that would help to tell the story of Jesus Christ’s final hours on Earth.
The Gospel sensation Yolanda Adams opened the musical with When Love Takes Over.
Many Christians are fluent with the events that happened on that hill many years ago. That event is central to their belief system and Jesus Christ is an essential figure in Christianity. Being innocent and familiar with the concept of crucifixion, Jesus Christ endured the cross anyway. According to the custom of his time, the cross experience lasted from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., a period of six hours. The bible gives a detailed account of His final hours.
His death is recorded in Matthew 27:27-56, Mark 15:21-38, Luke 23:26-49, and John 19:16-37. Theology teaches that Jesus Christ’s death perfect atonement for sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. At the announcement of his birth, an angel of God told Mary he would be called Jesus (Immanuel), which is translated “God with us.”
Jesus’ death was God’s way of reconciling a world riddled with sin back to himself. Because of the extremity of his sacrifice, many Christians hold Jesus’ name in high regard. Resurrection Sunday is a very important staple in their relationship with God.
“In that dramatic scene on Calvary’s hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime — the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps…the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists,” said Martin Luther King Jr.
[Photo by Mahmoud Illean/AP]