Spring comes later this year all across the State of Washington. The cherry trees are just now blossoming on the Capital Campus and the tulip fields in the Skagit Valley are only half in bloom.
Some of us are really looking forward to our first taste of fresh asparagus. We want to experience the new life of field and yard. We want to see, taste and feel the warmth, the beauty and the hope that comes with this season.
This is also the season of very important religious holy days. Our Jewish friends have just observed Passover from sundown Monday until sundown Tuesday of this week. Christians celebrate Easter Sunday with church services rejoicing in the day that Jesus rose from the dead. Many families get together for dinner. Some have the tradition of hunting for hidden eggs. Before Easter though, there is Good Friday (today).
First century Christians set aside every Friday as a special day of prayer and fasting to remember the crucifixion of Jesus. Sometime in the fourth century the Greek church began observing the Friday before Easter and called it Holy or Great Friday. By the seventh century, the Roman church was regularly observing this day as Good Friday.
Two different groups have set the original Good Friday as happening in the year A.D. 33. A third study used a different astronomical approach based on the lunar eclipse schedule which might explain the darkness between the sixth and the ninth hours while Jesus was hanging on the cross. They came up with the date Friday, April 3, 33.
Some might find these studies interesting, even fascinating. Some might think we should concentrate on what this day means for all humankind, not on men's wise studies.
Some may care less about the life and death of Jesus than about their own. Some, like me, treasure this time of Good Friday to remember His sacrifice for my sin and selfishness so that I can have His peace and joy to experience and share a new life in any season.
- Jerri Honeyford, wife of Sen. Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside), provides her Across our State column while the couple is residing in Olympia.