A truly amazing thing will be happening this year. Good Friday 2016 is on March 25, the same day as the Feast of the Annunciation, the day Jesus was conceived in Mary's womb.
This is amazing because traditionally many Christians have believed that Jesus was conceived on and died on the same day. The feast of the Annunciation, in which Mary receives the word from an angel that she will bear the Son of God, occurred on March 25 and is celebrated on that date every year.
Good Friday on the other hand, which marks the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the Cross, changes each year.
This amazing occurrence will not happen again for another 141 years! Since the year 1700 AD, Good Friday has been on the same day as the Annunciation just 11 times. See the list below for a complete record of all dates where this happened since 1700. From 1700 to 2200 (500 years), this will happen 14 times, or about once every 35.71 years.
What did the Church Fathers have to say about this:
St. Augustine of Hippo, one of the original 4 Doctors of the Church, in his book On The Trinity (Sermon 202) writes:
He is believed to have been conceived on the 25th of March, upon which day also He suffered; so the womb of the Virgin, in which He was conceived, where no one of mortals was begotten, corresponds to the new grave in which He was buried, wherein was never man laid, neither before nor since.Tertullian and St. Hippolytus of Rome both mention that Jesus died on March 25 as well.
I was thinking about it myself and thought of it this way: Jesus as God lowered himself and came down from heaven to become incarnate as a man. This happened on the Annunciation. At his crucifixion, Jesus died so that man could enter heaven, sort of the reverse of his own incarnation. It is fitting that these would occur on the same day, some 33 years apart. The entire salvation story had come full circle.
Below, I link to an article written by Jimmy Akin, a Catholic apologist. He argues that Jesus could not have died on March 25th, based on research. Despite this, I think it's important to note the significance of this event, even if Jesus did not die on that date, because nonetheless his death is being observed on that date, and that's what makes it significant.
The bottom line is I think this is a truly special event which should be observed by all Christians as it reminds of that Christ's Annunciation and Salvific Suffering and Death are inextricably linked.
|In this painting by Francesc Comes, in the second panel the Annunciation is depicted and in the third is the crucifixion.|
Years in which Good Friday and the Annunciation Both Occur on March 25: