What’s So Good about Good Friday?

(Photo by Selma Komisky)

What’s So Good about Good Friday?

By Sarah Pineda

“‘What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!’”

– Matthew 27:22 (NIV)

Good Friday is the Friday before Easter Sunday, in which Jesus was crucified and died on the cross. Although the origins of the name of Good Friday are unknown, it serves as an ironic juxtaposition to the death of God’s Son. How could Good Friday be good if Jesus had to endure ridicule, pain, flogging, and death on a cross? There are two main theories in which the name Good Friday comes from.

The first theory, is the derivation of the word ‘good.’ Once named God’s Friday, and Holy Friday; God is associated with being good, hence the etymology of Good Friday. The second theory revolves around the purpose that Jesus’ death was for the good of His people. In Christianity, Christians believe Jesus sacrificed himself to bring eternal life for anyone who chooses to follow Him. John 3:16 is seen everywhere, and is rooted with Good Friday as “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son” to die on the cross for our sins. The good news of Jesus’ death, represents the renewing our sins, so that we are free due to His love. There is a service typically held at Christian churches to pray and praise God for the redemption of our sins and communion is taken as a reminder of His sacrifice. Despite the uncertainty in the name of Good Friday, many from different beliefs all agree it is a special day to mark regardless.  Historians even believe that Good Friday is one of the most significant days in the history for mankind.

While Catholicism and Christianity may share common beliefs commemorating the day of Jesus’ crucifixion, there are also some differences as well. For Catholics, the holiday begins on Holy Thursday representing the Last Supper to Easter, the resurrection of Jesus. Many Catholics remain in consistent prayer in observance. Specifically on Good Friday, the Catholic Church has no Mass, there is no ringing of bells, and no one is on the altar, according to Catholic Online. Violeta Montejo, 58, has been a devout Catholic since she was born. For her, Good Friday means “a lot of prayer.”

As an Episcopalian, Joshua Torres, 21, carries the meaning of Good Friday very symbolically. Similar to Catholicism, the Episcopal Church, which is part of the Anglican Communion churches in the United States, has a service with three stations of prayer based on the crucifixion.

“Good Friday is special since it’s a part of my life. You’re living the life that He lost for us,” says Torres.

There are many things good about Good Friday, even if it is sad because of the remembrance of Jesus’ death. This was the day in which we were redeemed. Good Friday wouldn’t be good without a Good God.