Good Friday


There is nothing about the events of this day that can be considered good.

Betrayal.  Judas.  Kiss.  Soldiers.  Chief Priests.  Pharisees.  Lanterns.  Torches.  Weapons.  "I Am He."  Overwhelmed.  Sword.  Ear.  Healing.  Arrest.  High Priest.  Annas.  Courtyard.  Peter.  Denial.  Denial.  Denial.  Rooster.  Mocking.  Beating.  Caiaphas.  Pilate.  "Are you the King of the Jews?"  Herod.  Contempt.  Pilate.  Not guilty.  Barabbas.  Released.  Jesus.  Flogging.  Crown of thorns.  Purple robe.  Beating.  "Crucify him!"  "Crucify him!"  Cross.  Simon of Cyrene.  Golgotha.  Two criminals.  "Remember me."  "Today...Paradise."  Sign.  "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews."  "Father, forgive them."  Garments.  Casting lots.  Mary.  Son.  John.  Mother.  "I thirst."  Sponge.  Sour wine.  Darkness.  "It is finished."  "I commit my spirit."  Death.  Curtain.  Torn.  Earthquake.  Spear.  Side.  Blood.  Water.  Burial.

This is a day filled with horrendous events. And yet this day is called good. Many believe it is called good because of what was accomplished. Jesus Christ, the Paschal Lamb, was slain to take away the sins of the world. Our sins eliminated by the sacrifice of our Savior, covered by the blood of the Lamb. And yes, that is good.

Others believe the name is derived from the phrase "God's Friday."

However, the most accurate explanation, at least according to linguists and historical evidence, and supported by the Orthodox English Dictionary, is found in the original meaning of the word "good." The etymology of the word "good" means "holy." This is Holy Friday, part of Holy Week. And if you consider the other names for Good Friday—“Sacred Friday” in the Romance languages (Viernes Santo, e.g.), “Passion Friday” in Russian—this makes sense. The Orthodox English Dictionary also notes that there was once Good Wednesday, the Wednesday before Easter, which these days is more commonly known as Holy Wednesday.

So, on this Good Friday, may we reflect upon the sacrifice of Jesus, our Savior, and recognize that this day is truly holy.

(Illustration: The Crucifixion by the master of Dreux Budé, Flemish, 15th century).