Good Friday

Every year I always ask "What is good about Good Friday?" How could such a horrible time be considered "good." Especially after seeing Mel Gibson's The Passion of Christ movie a few years ago, where the realism of what actually happened was portrayed, a brutal beating beyond belief.

The only thing I like about Good Friday, is that my youngest daughter was born on Good Friday! (Her birthday is Monday this year.) She has always had a sweet, gentle, patient personality.

This morning I googled "Why is it called Good Friday?" I'm going to give a few excerpts of some answers. I don't know any of these people, but like what they've said. On I learned that Good Friday is not mentioned in the bible, neither is any other day of the week name, other than the seventh day, the Sabbath. The crucifixion took place between noon and 3 p.m. Some churches hold services at 3 p.m. Here are a few other discussions:

The Goodness of Good Friday
An unhappy celebration—isn't that an oxymoron?
by Chris Armstrong

What a supreme paradox. We now call the day Jesus was crucified, Good.

Many believe this name simply evolved—as language does. They point to the earlier designation, "God's Friday," as its root. (This seems a reasonable conjecture, given that "goodbye" evolved from "God be with you.")

Whatever its origin, the current name of this holy day offers a fitting lesson to those of us who assume (as is easy to do) that "good" must mean "happy." We find it hard to imagine a day marked by sadness as a good day.

Of course, the church has always understood that the day commemorated on Good Friday was anything but happy. Sadness, mourning, fasting, and prayer have been its focus since the early centuries of the church. A fourth-century church manual, the Apostolic Constitutions, called Good Friday a "day of mourning, not a day of festive Joy." Ambrose, the fourth-century archbishop who befriended the notorious sinner Augustine of Hippo before his conversion, called it the "day of bitterness on which we fast."

Yet, despite—indeed because of—its sadness, Good Friday is truly good. Its sorrow is a godly sorrow. It is like the sadness of the Corinthians who wept over the sharp letter from their dear teacher, Paul, convicted of the sin in their midst. Hearing of their distress, Paul said, "My joy was greater than ever." Why? Because such godly sorrow "brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret" (2 Cor. 7:10).

I like to think the linguistic accident that made "God's Friday" into "Good Friday" was no accident at all. It was God's own doing—a sharp, prophetic jab at a time and a culture obsessed by happiness. In the midst of consumerism's Western playground, Good Friday calls to a jarring halt the sacred "pursuit of happiness." The cross reveals this pursuit for what it is: a secondary thing.

This commemoration of Christ's death reminds us of the human sin that caused this death. And we see again that salvation comes only through godly sorrow—both God's and, in repentance, ours. To pursue happiness, we must first experience sorrow. He who goes forth sowing tears returns in joy.

At the same time, of course, Good Friday recalls for us the greatness and wonder of God's love—that He should submit to death for us. From

I can see virtue in either terminology. If we call it Mourning Friday, as in German, we are facing reality head on, taking up the cross if you will, fully conscious that the Christian walk is seldom a walk in the park. But if we call it Good Friday, as in English, we are confessing the Christian hope that no tragedy—not even death—can overwhelm God’s providence, love, and grace. Either way seems fine to me! By Ken Collins

Good Friday is called good because on this day Jesus was crucified for our redemption of our sins. "Holy Friday" for Latin nations, Slavs and Hungarians call it "Great Friday," in Germany it is "Friday of Mourning," and in Norway, it is "Long Friday." Some view the term "Good Friday" (used in English and Dutch) as a corruption of the term "God's Friday." Fr. Dennis


A Romantic Porch said...

So beautiful. Thank you for sharing. xoRachel

Becky said...

More good info here! I love when things get explained. This is something I never really even thought about. Just took it at face value.

So there you go. I'm smarter now!!

Nora Lee said...

Thank your for such a wonderful post for today. Have a blessed Easter weekend.


Hope said...

Hi Katherine,

Just wanted to stop by and wish you and your family a very blessed and happy Easter weekend. I'll try to catch up later!


jennifer said...

WOW! You put alot of thought into this post. I guess this day is Good to me because even if I were the only person who needed Salvation, he would have gone to the cross JUST FOR ME. Or just for you. I enjoyed reading your post.