Why Do They Call It GOOD Friday?


Just some ponderings by

Barb Shelton



Probably every Christian has wondered "If Jesus DIED on 'Good Friday,' why do they call it GOOD?"  I have even heard some say that the name is a corruption from earlier days of darkened thinking, but that the name just stuck.


I certainly don't have any "official" answers, but I have given this some thought, so I can offer my personal ponderings on this...


First, Jesus' act of dying on the cross was "The Act" that opened the door between God and man. In fact, was the ONLY act that could! All of Jesus' miracles were great, His obedience to the Father wonderful, His casting out of demons amazing (and probably pretty relieving to the "castee"), and His resurrection glorious, (to say the least!), but it was by Jesus' death on the cross alone ~ His work of atonement ~ that we were enabled to enter into sweet relationship with the Father. 
It had to have hurt the Father tremendously to see His Son die on the cross. In fact aren't we told He had to turn away? But yet Jesus' death HAD to have been "ultimately good" by the Father's definition of the word, or He wouldn't have asked it of Jesus! Nor would He have allowed Jesus to actually go through with it once Jesus said "Not my will be done, but my Father's."  For Abraham, being asked to sacrifice his son was "just a test." But this wasn't a "test" for Jesus OR the Father!  It was the only way the Father could get US back!
If we focus on "The Act" alone, Jesus' death, it is pretty depressing.  But we have to remember that Jesus chose to be obedient to the Father, even unto death!  It was for the sole purpose of LIFE!  Restoring relationship between we the people and God the Father! 


So it appears to me that the day, "Good Friday," is defined by its fruit ~ not by how it felt to Jesus or the Father, or how gruesome it looks to us. 
I personally don't feel the term "Good Friday" is a "corruption" of anything!   :-)   In fact, from God's perspective, it's probably the best name it could have been given! 

Watching Jesus dying on the cross, Satan must have rubbed his gnarly claw-hands together and thought that he had finally conquered Jesus, and that His death was HIS victory! But he forgot that Jesus died only because He allowed Himself to be killed. Remember all the times He had mysteriously escaped their heated pursuit? John 10:39 says "Again they tried to arrest Him, but He escaped from their hands."  John 8:59 says "So they took up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the Temple."  There are many such examples in the gospels.


When Pilate was questioning Jesus after Judas had betrayed Him, Jesus gave no answer, so Pilate said "You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and power to crucify you?" to which Jesus answered "You would have no power over Me unless it has been given you from above."  (John 19:9-11)  Jesus willingly sacrificed Himself, gave himself up of His own choosing ~ He was not "taken"!


I went back to John 17 and re-read Jesus' words to His Father when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane. He said, "Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which thou have given me in your love for me before the foundation of the world. Oh righteous Father, the world has not known You, but I have known You; and these know that You have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will make it known, that the love with which You have loved me may be in them, and I in them."  And immediately after that is when the betrayal took place.  And Jesus walked right into it knowing full well what was going to happen to Him.  He walked right into His own death; all so that "the love with which the Father had loved Jesus COULD be in us!!!

So what happened the moment Jesus died? Not on Easter when He rose, but right there on (good) Friday, at the very moment of Jesus' death? ... The veil of the temple was torn!!! Yes! ~ RIPPED apart!!! This symbolized that the veil between God and man ~ the separation and distance due to our sin ~ was DESTROYED!!!!!!  Completely and forever!!! "What the enemy intended for evil, God has turned for GOOD." YEE-HAH!!!!!!!  And HAAAAAALELUIA!!!!!


Do you know what some of the first words out of Jesus' mouth were after He had just risen from the dead?  Look closely at John 20:17...  Jesus had just happened upon Mary Magdalene who had been looking for His body, but, not finding it in the tomb, thought it was stolen.  So she was distraught and weeping.  What is the very first thing Jesus told her to do ~ after telling her to not hug Him because He hadn't gone to His Father yet?  (Speaking of which, I've never quite understood the reasoning behind that, but I wonder if it was because He was actually kind of transparent; like if she'd tried to hug Him, maybe her arms would have gone right through Him? ~ and He didn't want to say "Do not hold me, for thou wilt freak out when thine arms passeth right through Me"?


Because I really want you to get the full impact of this, before I tell you the first thing Jesus told Mary to do,  I want to quickly recall Jesus' last words of prayer in the Garden: "I made known to them your name, and I will make it known, that the love with which You have loved me may be in them, and I in them."  Okay, now in light of that, can you imagine how He must have felt telling Mary: "Go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and YOUR Father (emphasis mine; but I'm sure I can't even begin to fathom what HE felt!); to my God and YOUR God."


And now to close...  Mary did not recognize Jesus at first, and when He asked her why she was weeping, and who it was she was seeking, she answered Him supposing Him to be the gardener.  What happened next?!  How was it that she recognized Him?  This is it:  He just said her name: "Mary."  And she immediately recognized Him!  "The sheep know His voice, and He calls His own sheep by name... and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice." (John 10:3-4)  


Do you know His voice?  Have you heard Him call you by name?  He is!  Today!  All you have to do is acknowledge that what He did on that good Friday 2,000 years ago, He did for you!  In your place!  And then accept Him as your Lord and Savior!  And if you have already done that, but don't think you can hear His voice, then you need to believe and start walking in the above verse about we sheep knowing His voice.  ...  And it will be a very GOOD Friday for not only you, but for your Heavenly Father who allowed His only Son, Jesus, to suffer a horrible death JUST so that relationship between Himself and YOU could !  Unless today is Wednesday, in which case it's a Good Wednesday...  or Monday...  or Saturday...  or Tuesday...  God doesn't care; He just wants you no matter what day it is:  "If today you hear His voice, harden not your heart."  




Clicking here... (or on this picture)

will take you to a

computer-dramatization of the crucifixion.

At the bottom of that page is a link to the burial

and resurrection of Jesus.



Clicking on the picture below

will take you to another computer-dramatization

of the burial and resurrection

of Jesus!


Both are amazing, sobering, and very touching!

     (Keep watching till the end!)



   (If either of these animations do not work,

please email me ~ Barb ~ so that I can find another one to link to!)


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