My calendar says today is “Good Friday.” The NYSE will be closed for “Good Friday.” Many schools will out for “Good Friday.” Christendom celebrates today as “Good Friday.”
Personally, I’ve always thought speaking of the day Jesus was unmercifully crucified on Calvary as “Good Friday” seemed a little strange. Of course, the expression “Good Friday is not used in the Bible. So, what is its origin?
Many theories abound. It is generally believed that “Good Friday” has its roots in Catholicism. Some suggest it stems from the expression “God’s Friday.” Orthodox Believers call it “Great Friday.” In Germany it is referred to as ‘Gottes Freitag’ which translates into “God’s Friday.” Anglo-Saxons called it “Long Friday,” which is how it’s still known in Denmark.
Through the years it has been called “Black Friday” or “Sorrowful Friday,” which seems more appropriate than “Good Friday.”
Friday wasn’t a good day for Judas who betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Then hung himself.
Friday wasn’t a good day for Peter who denied Jesus. Three times. After bragging the night before he would never deny his Lord!
Friday wasn’t a good day for the Jewish court. It was a black day for the esteemed council who convened an illegal trial. Suborned perjured witnesses. And called for Jesus’ execution.
Friday wasn’t a good day for Pilate. It was a dark day for the cowardly Governor who signed the death warrant for an innocent man.
Friday wasn’t a good day for the Scribes, Pharisees and Jewish people who rejected Jesus as God’s messiah.
Friday wasn’t a good day for Mary, Jesus’ mother, who stood by the cross with tear-filled eyes and a broken heart to see this sordid spectacle.
Friday wasn’t a good day for Jesus. Humiliated. Mocked. Spit upon. Brutally beaten. And crucified on the cross.
Yet that dark and gloomy Friday when hopelessness filled the air brightened into a glimmering, glorious hope on resurrection Sunday.
God uses what was bad. Black. And ugly. And turned it into something good. Paul put it this way.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” (Rom 8:28-30)
God turned a bad day into a good day by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Defeat turned into victory. Satan’s triumph turned into Christ’s conquest. Sorrow filled hearts became joyous. Sadness was turned to gladness. And the dead body of Jesus came alive!
Black Friday became a good Friday demonstrating God’s grace, love and mercy for mankind. Jesus became the sacrifice for sin. My sin. Your sin. He took my place on the cross. He died in my place. (Eph 2:1-10)
Friday is a day of vindication because Sunday is a day of celebration. The Bible affirms that Jesus was “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead (Rom 1:4). Because of the resurrection there is glory in the cross. Power in the blood. And hope in the Good News of the Gospel message!
It may be “Good Friday.” But Sunday’s coming!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman