Where did Good Friday get its name?

An abstract metal crucifix hangs on the wall outside the chapel at Sarum College in Salisbury, England. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.
An abstract metal crucifix hangs on the wall outside the chapel at Sarum College in Salisbury, England. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

The source of our term for the Friday before Easter, "Good Friday," is not clear.  It may be a corruption of the English phrase "God's Friday," according to Professor Laurence Hull Stookey in Calendar: Christ's Time for the Church (p. 96). It is the common name for the day among English- and Dutch-speaking people.

It is a day that proclaims God's purpose of loving and redeeming the world through the cross of our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is a day that is good because God was drawing the world to God's self in Christ.

As seen in John's gospel, particularly, God was in control. God was not making the best of a bad situation, but was working out God's intention for the world — winning salvation for all people.

We call it "good" because we look backward at the crucifixion through the lens of Easter!

 

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