What's So Good About Good Friday?

Stores fill their shelves with wicker baskets, stuffed bunnies, and an assortment of chocolate eggs weeks in advance in order to draw consumers' attention to what they "need" for the Easter holiday.

As Christians, during the season of Lent, we spiritually prepare for the celebration of Easter. We focus on what transpired during the days leading up to Good Friday—the day we remember the beating and horrible death Christ suffered on the cross.

With all that He endured, what’s so good about Good Friday?

Calling it “Good Friday” is actually peculiar to the English language. In Germany it’s called “Mourning Friday” – because Jesus’ disciples mourned that day, believing all was lost. In Latin countries it’s called “Holy Friday.” An archaic meaning of "good" is "God," just as "good-bye" means "God be with you." So, it used to mean "God's Friday."

Many people will say Christmas Eve and Easter are their favorite times to participate in worship. Churches are filled to the brim.

My favorite service is held on Good Friday evening. In our church, the alter is stripped bare of flowers, embroidered scarves, or anything else with color. A black cloth is draped over the cross hanging on the front wall.

The service is somber. Lights are kept dim. During the service, one by one, lit candles are snuffed out, until we end in complete darkness. The exception is a soft spotlight on the cross. It’s a time to reflect on Christ’s love—and how much He’s done for us.

I’ll never forget a Good Friday service held years ago in our church—in the space we used for worship prior to expanding our building. One wall holds large windows extending from one end of the room to the other. These windows look out to a patio courtyard filled with flowering pink, red, white, yellow, and lavender rhododendrons. Three wooden crosses were placed in an area where the ground was raised. That night, a rain storm blew in. The visual of those crosses standing with wind whipping through the courtyard and lightening flashing will always remain with me.

I don’t know how or why the day became called Good Friday. The best explanation is that despite all the pain and suffering Christ endured for us, good was the ultimate result. Because He took the punishment for our sins and defeated death by rising again, we have the opportunity to accept the gift of eternal life.

And that’s a wonderful reason to call the day “good.”

This week, think about what you can do to prepare your own heart for Easter.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Donna,
    I ran across your blog through your comment on Rachelle's blog. I've always wondered about "Good Friday." Thanks for the explanation :-) And best wishes on your writing.


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