Friday, April 06, 2012

Good Friday: A Sad and Solemn Day for Christians

Good Friday. The saddest and most solemn day in Christendom. It is only in the past few years in the United States that commerce has not stopped completely on this day, its official commemoration ruled as  an illegal linkage between church and state. In this painting, the unknown Hungarian painter has made the scene of Jesus' crucifixion look a great deal like 1476 Hungary. Note the castles in the background of the picture and the pointed shoes on the men to the right of the cross.

For over 2,000 years, Christians worldwide have been united in their faith. (Well, that may greatly overstate the unity, as Europe was overrun with religious wars for quite a while, and even America was begun through religious backlash.) Generally speaking, most Christians agree on great principles of the religion.   The Nicene Creed, over 1,00 years older than the painting is one summary:

Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The picture above is from the vast collection of important paintings at the Web Gallery of Art, a virtual museum, which also features a mobile application for viewing its contents from your cell phone.


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