Can Good Friday Really Be Good?

Posted: April 7, 2007 in Thinking Theologically


On the way to school this morning, Brock and I had our normal devotional and prayer time. Although this morning, Brock asked a great question as we were talking about today in history. He asked, “Dad, how can it be a good day? Why is it called Good Friday when Jesus died?” I thought that was a very perceptive question for an eight year old.

I’ve heard through the years that the word good used to have a secondary meaning of holy, but I since I’m not an etymological expert, I’ve never done any research into the phrase “Good Friday”. I do know that throughout history there have been instances where the words God and good got switched around because of their similarity. For instance, the phrase “God be with you” is just “good-bye” today. So I guess it might be a possibility that Good Friday was originally God’s Friday.

But I have to think that we call it Good Friday because, it really is a good day. In fact, calling it a good day seems like a gross understatement. It is with great mourning and respect that I approach this topic, but I have to weigh the balance of knowing the rest of the story.

You see, all that tragedy was not in vain. Rather, it brought about the greatest good there could be. We can have life. We can be forgiven. We can know purpose and meaning in our journey. We can again have a relationship with God. And we can have life eternally.

If Jesus had just died… I’m doubtful Good Friday would have been the choice phrase to commemorate His crucifixion. But we do not grieve like people without hope (Thess. 4:13) because three days later He rose! And that is good!

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