Why do we have Good Friday? Why is it called Good Friday?
First of all, Good Friday is a religious tradition, and its
celebration as an official church holiday is not supported or encouraged
by the Bible (although it is not outlawed by the Bible either). Many
Christian groups do not celebrate this holiday, as they do not accept the
human tradition which led to the holiday.
Having said that, there is a fairly simple explanation of
where this holiday came from. Certain denominations celebrate Good Friday
as a remembrance of the day on which Jesus Christ was crucified. It is
hard to see this day as a good day, as it is the day on which Jesus
Christ, God in the flesh, allowed himself to be brutally killed by Roman
soldiers. The reason it is known as “Good” is that, despite the horror of
Jesus’ death, the result of his death and resurrection was the opportunity
for everyone who turns to God, through Jesus Christ, to be forgiven from
their sins. That is a very good thing! Probably it would have been
better to call this holiday Black Friday, and to call Easter, which
celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Good Sunday.
Historically, the celebration of both Good Friday and Easter
goes back to the very early history of the Christian church. By the
second century, disciples of Jesus were celebrating a sort of remnant
Jewish Passover in remembrance of the death, burial and resurrection of
Jesus Christ. Perhaps because they were wary of the Jewish roots of this
tradition, the churches began to celebrate Easter and Good Friday as the
“Christian” equivalents of the Jewish Passover and Feast of Firstfruits.