Good Friday marks no ordinary event. Its goodness quotient is evident in God’s love made real for us through the Incarnation—“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). Its significance and relevance for all time are brought out well by the reaction of the centurion in the gospel narrative: “Then Jesus uttered a loud cry and gave up his spirit. And immediately the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion who was standing in front of him saw how Jesus died, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God”” (Mk 15:37-40). No conjecture this, but a hard-core reality that took place some two millennia ago, forever changing the way human beings perceive God.
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, came to earth in human form to experience firsthand what it means to be human. Having become like us in all things but sin (CFR Heb 4:15), he showed us how to rise above our human frailties so as to experience on the last day, the date and time of which are known only to the Father (cfr Mt 24:36), the sublimity of his Resurrection.
The significance of this day is further heightened by the fact that Jesus’ death was a once for all blood sacrifice in atonement for all sin: “God showed His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Since therefore we are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God” [Rom 5:8-9].
Paul speaks about this God, who largely unbeknown to many loves his human creation to the point of dying for it, thus, “Athenian citizens, I see that in every way you are very religious. As I walked around looking at your shrines, I even discovered an altar inscribed: ‘To an unknown God.’ Now, what you worship as unknown, I intend to make known to you” (Acts 17:22-23). Expostulating on the Messiahship of the Risen Lord, Paul says, “He has already set a day on which He will judge the world with justice through a man he has appointed. And so that all may believe it, he has given a sign by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).
Finally, Good Friday challenges believer and unbeliever alike to eschew violence and foster peace after the example of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, himself an ardent admirer of Christ.