Today is Good Friday. On this day, believers around the world commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. We all understand that. What most of us don’t understand is why this dark day in which Jesus suffered and died is called “Good Friday.” Why isn’t it called Bad Friday or Dark Friday?
Over the years, people have put forward various theories. Some argue that it is called Good Friday because something good came about because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. While that is certainly true theologically, that is not the linguistic origin of the term Good Friday.
Others have suggested that Good Friday came from a shortening of the words God’s Friday. Although you do see that suggestion in some articles on the Internet, there really isn’t any connection between the words god and good. At best, this is mere linguistic speculation.
It is more likely that the term “Good Friday” comes from an older meaning of the word good. It used to mean holy. So you can think of the term Good Friday as really meaning Holy Friday. This fits with other languages that refer to this day as Sacred Friday or even Passion Friday.
Today we commemorate when the wrath of God was poured out on Jesus. He was sinless, and thus the perfect sacrifice for our sins. He paid the penalty that we deserved to pay. As the song says: “He paid a debt He did not owe” because “I owed a debt I could not pay.”
Good Friday begins the most momentous weekend in the history of the world. Because of the death of Jesus, we can receive the free gift of eternal life. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we can know that there is life beyond the grave. That is why this weekend is a cause for great celebration.