THERE’S a lot less going on in public than there usually is on Good Friday.

Shopping centres across South Gippsland and Bass Coast are virtually empty.

Inverloch and Cowes are among the exceptions.

In Cowes, for example, the three main supermarkets; Aldi, Coles and Woolworths are closed all day. The small IGA remains open as a convenience.

Some food venues continue to offer takeaways and the Bicycle Repair Man and Island Surfboards are still open to serve their approved exercises.

The seemingly immovable object against the irresistible force, the $2 Shop, also stays open – on Good Friday in a worldwide pandemic for goodness sake!!

At St Mary’s Catholic Church in Cowes, the carpark is totally empty as 2pm approaches, the traditional time for the Good Friday Mass – a heavily spiritual time which commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus – the ultimate sacrifice for the salvation of mankind.

The despair surrounding that event sets up the celebration of Easter Sunday, commemorating Jesus resurrection, which completely transforms the significance of Christ’s sacrifice into an act that secures our eternal salvation.

For those unable to attend Easter services due to the impact of COVID-19, the ABC will broadcast the Good Friday service from St John’s Anglican Cathedral in Brisbane (on ABC TV at 4pm) and the Pope’s Easter Saturday Vigil Mass from the Vatican (on 12 April at 2.30pm).

From the Bible

There has been plenty of research going on into references in the Bible to “the plague” especially in Revelations, but we’ll leave those theories of impending doom to others.

Here however is an excerpt from John 19 (17-30):

And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha, where they crucified him, and two others with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.

Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.

Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also, his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, they parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, it is finished, and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.