What is Good Friday and why do we call Good Friday “good,” when it is such
a dark and
bleak event commemorating a day of suffering and death for Jesus?
For Christians, Good Friday is a crucial day of the year because it celebrates
believe to be the most momentous weekend in the history of the world.
Ever since Jesus died and was raised, Christians have proclaimed the cross
and resurrection of Jesus to be the decisive turning point for all creation.
Paul considered it to be “of first importance” that Jesus died for our sins,
was buried, and was raised to life on the third day, all in accordance with
what God had promised all along in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3).
On Good Friday we remember the day Jesus willingly suffered and died by
crucifixion as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins (1 John 1:10). It is followed by Easter, the glorious
celebration of the day Jesus was raised from the dead, heralding his victory over sin and
death and pointing ahead to a future resurrection for all who are united to him by faith
The cross is where we see the convergence of great suffering and God’s forgiveness. Psalms 85:10 sings of a day when “righteousness and peace” will “kiss each other.” The cross of Jesus is where that occurred, where God’s demands, his righteousness, coincided with his mercy. We receive divine forgiveness, mercy, and peace because Jesus willingly took our divine punishment, the result of God’s
righteousness against sin. “For the joy set before him”
(Hebrews 12:2) Jesus endured the cross on Good Friday,
knowing it led to his resurrection, our salvation, and the
beginning of God’s reign of righteousness and peace.