Today, Christians all over the world remember Jesus’ death. So why is it called “Good Friday?” The day marks the trials, torture and execution of Jesus. Why call it “good”? The historical reason is not entirely clear. Some think it started as “God’s Friday” and slowly changed. Others think the term good was applied to mark it as a holy day. At any rate, the earliest known use of the term was from about 1290 in the literary work call The South English Legendary.*
The bible does not call this day “good,” but does describe the event. Mark 15:24-30 says, ‘And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get. It was the third hour when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS. They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!”’ (NIV)
Whether we call this day “good” or not, it must be remembered. We marvel at the love of God who gave his son, as well as at Jesus who endured the cross for our sake. We cannot delight in his suffering, but we have deep gratitude that he died for us.
*Magazine Monitor, “Who, What, Why: Why is Good Friday called Good Friday?” BBC, April 18, 2014, https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-27067136
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.