Jesus’ Friday in the Holy Week
The Sanhedrin questioned Jesus if He was the Son of God. He answers them: “You are right in saying I am.”
It was after this statement that the Sanhedrin formally condemned Jesus to death for blasphemy (Lk 22:70-71). They then brought Jesus before Pilate (Mk 15:1-5 / Lk 23:1-5), seeking his approval of their verdict of Jesus. The Roman Pilate, realizing that Jesus was a Galilean, sent him to Herod Antipas, a son of Herod the Great who was given Galilee by his father to rule, and who was also in Jerusalem celebrating the Passover (Lk 23:6-12). Jesus, thus, was Antipas’ problem. Jesus had already called Antipas a fox; and Herod was eager to see a miracle.
Jesus refused to entertain the wicked and foolish Herod Antipas, who then sent Jesus back to Pilate. Pilate, eager to keep the unrest to a minimum, gave in to Jewish demands, releasing the murderer Barrabas and sentencing Christ to die by crucifixion. Many scholars and critics tend to discount the narrative at this point, stating that no evidence for such a ceremony has been discovered. Yet, neither has there been any to discount it. Pilate handed Jesus over to the Roman soldiers to have Jesus whipped and eventually crucified (Mt 27:27-31 / Lk 23:13-25).
It was on Friday morning that Jesus was crucified at Golgotha. The Pharisees had exacted their plan on Jesus in Jerusalem, the capital city, during the Passover. Antipas and Pilate had both sought to rid themselves of Jesus by pawning Him off, yet the religious authorities had urged His death and won out in the end. One can only imagine the feeling of His disciples and followers. Fear and panic must have spread throughout. Followers of Jesus feared their lives, for if their leader had been killed nobody was safe.