Eat, Drink, and Be Somber: A Good Friday Recipe

What is Good Friday?

Good Friday is the day that Christians remember Jesus' death by crucifixion.  It is a somber holiday because even though modern followers know that the joy of Jesus' resurrection on Easter Sunday is only a few days away, Jesus' original followers did not.  Good Friday must have been a terrible day, when their hopes of freedom from the Romans died along with Jesus.  They thought that Jesus was going to lead a political revolution along with his spiritual mission, but Jesus' apparent failure in evidence as he hung dying on the cross left them baffled, depressed, and scared.  Their dreams of freedom had come to nothing, and now friends of Jesus were wanted criminals. On Good Friday, modern Christians commemorate Jesus' suffering and apparent defeat while also looking forward toward the miracle of Easter with great hope and anticipation.

A 30 Second Summary of Good Friday

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The Crucifixion in the Bible

This is the account of Jesus' crucifixion and death as found in the Gospel of John (The Message version).  After being shunned by the Jews and condemned and tortured by the Roman government, Jesus staggered on to the death that he had committed himself to. 

Carrying his cross, Jesus went out to the place called Skull Hill (the name in Hebrew is Golgotha), where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, Jesus in the middle. Pilate wrote a sign and had it placed on the cross. It read:

jesus the nazarene
the king of the jews.

Many of the Jews read the sign because the place where Jesus was crucified was right next to the city. It was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. The Jewish high priests objected. "Don't write," they said to Pilate, "'The King of the Jews.' Make it, 'This man said, "I am the King of the Jews."'"

Pilate said, "What I've written, I've written."

When they crucified him, the Roman soldiers took his clothes and divided them up four ways, to each soldier a fourth. But his robe was seamless, a single piece of weaving, so they said to each other, "Let's not tear it up. Let's throw dice to see who gets it." This confirmed the Scripture that said, "They divided up my clothes among them and threw dice for my coat." (The soldiers validated the Scriptures!)

While the soldiers were looking after themselves, Jesus' mother, his aunt, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood at the foot of the cross. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her. He said to his mother, "Woman, here is your son." Then to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that moment the disciple accepted her as his own mother.

Jesus, seeing that everything had been completed so that the Scripture record might also be complete, then said, "I'm thirsty."

A jug of sour wine was standing by. Someone put a sponge soaked with the wine on a javelin and lifted it to his mouth. After he took the wine, Jesus said, "It's done . . . complete." Bowing his head, he offered up his spirit.

Then the Jews, since it was the day of Sabbath preparation, and so the bodies wouldn't stay on the crosses over the Sabbath (it was a high holy day that year), petitioned Pilate that their legs be broken to speed death, and the bodies taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man crucified with Jesus, and then the other. When they got to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn't break his legs. One of the soldiers stabbed him in the side with his spear. Blood and water gushed out.

The eyewitness to these things has presented an accurate report. He saw it himself and is telling the truth so that you, also, will believe.

These things that happened confirmed the Scripture, "Not a bone in his body was broken," and the other Scripture that reads, "They will stare at the one they pierced."

After all this, Joseph of Arimathea (he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, because he was intimidated by the Jews) petitioned Pilate to take the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission. So Joseph came and took the body.

Nicodemus, who had first come to Jesus at night, came now in broad daylight carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. They took Jesus' body and, following the Jewish burial custom, wrapped it in linen with the spices. There was a garden near the place he was crucified, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been placed. So, because it was Sabbath preparation for the Jews and the tomb was convenient, they placed Jesus in it.

(From John 19: 19-42, The Message version)

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Recipe: Hot Cross Buns

A traditional Good Friday food is the hot cross bun. The tops of these baked treats are marked with a cross, usually made of icing, to remind the eater of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.

This recipe is from the Fish Eaters Good Friday page, which contains other great information on this mournful Christian holiday. 

Buns:
1 cup milk
2 TBSP yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter, melted, cooled
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
4 eggs   5 cups flour
1 1/3 cups currants or raisins
1 egg white

Glaze:
1 1/3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1- 2 TBSP milk


In a small saucepan, heat milk to very warm, but not hot (110°F if using a candy thermometer). Fit an electric mixer with a dough hook. Pour warm milk in the bowl of mixer and sprinkle yeast over. Mix to dissolve and let sit for 5 minutes.

With mixer running at low speed, add sugar, salt, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and eggs. Gradually add flour, dough will be wet and sticky, and continue kneading with dough hook until smooth, about 5 minutes. Detach bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30-45 minutes.

Return bowl to mixer and knead until smooth and elastic, for about 3 more minutes. Add currants or raisins and knead until well mixed. At this point, dough will still be fairly wet and sticky. Shape dough in a ball, place in a buttered dish, cover with plastic wrap and let rise overnight in the refrigerator. Excess moisture will be absorbed by the morning.

Let dough sit at room temperature for about a half-hour. Line a large baking pan (or pans) with parchment paper (you could also lightly grease a baking pan, but parchment works better). Divide dough into 24 equal pieces (in half, half again, etc., etc.). Shape each portion into a ball and place on baking sheet, about 1/2 inch apart. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

In the meantime, pre-heat oven to 400° F.

When buns have risen, take a sharp or serrated knife and carefully slash buns with a cross shape all the way across the top (an equilateral Greek Cross). Brush them with egg white and place in oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° F, then bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack. Whisk together glaze ingredients, and spoon over buns in the cross pattern made earlier. Serve warm with butter, if possible.

Talk back! Do you celebrate Good Friday? 4 comments

coffeesnob 6 years ago

betheran

this is great! thnx and happy Easter


betherann profile image

betherann 6 years ago from Montana Author

Thanks, coffesnob! Happy Easter to you, too!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD

Well done. Thank you. Blessings & Happy Easter to you.


betherann profile image

betherann 6 years ago from Montana Author

Thank you, Ken! Enjoy your Easter!

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