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Scott P. Richert

Why Is Good Friday Called Good?

By February 14, 2014

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Ash Wednesday is still a little less than three weeks away, and Good Friday is exactly nine, but readers are already asking a question that arises every Lent: Why is Good Friday called good?Photo of the Cross in the Woods in Indian River, Michigan, the world's largest crucifix, © Scott P. Richert It seems a bit odd to call the day on which the Savior of mankind was crucified a "good" day. So how did this name arise?

You might be surprised to find out that we don't actually know the historical origins of why Good Friday is called good. But there is a theological explanation that serves us just as well. Intrigued? You can find out more about the various historical theories for why Good Friday is called good, and learn the theological explanation for the name, in Why Is Good Friday Good?

(Photo of the Cross in the Woods in Indian River, Michigan, the world's largest crucifix, © Scott P. Richert)

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Comments
February 5, 2012 at 3:21 pm
(1) Karen says:

The way I learned it was that Good Friday is an elision and that it was once called God’s Friday. Over the centuries, it became Good Friday.

Karen

March 29, 2013 at 3:49 am
(2) Robin says:

Karen do you really think that could be the reason?

March 29, 2013 at 6:29 am
(3) Jerry says:

There are still so many reasons why we call good friday good,.
the main and leading hemth why we call so is because we belive Savior of mankind was crucified to save us from all the sins we have made and to please our Father Loard.
so for all human kind he did a good thing to save us all though.

i dont think its a valid reason, but still i belive so.

March 30, 2013 at 2:00 am
(4) Geof says:

So, the article “Why Is Good Friday Good?” doesn’t actually answer the question? It just says “We don’t know, go look somewhere else”.

How disappointing.

April 1, 2013 at 2:32 pm
(5) This is God! says:

“You might be surprised to find out that we don’t actually know the historical origins of why Good Friday is called good.” This is just to convenient so in other word we don’t know much that is just sad!

May 22, 2013 at 6:58 pm
(6) Stephen says:

It’s Called good friday because he died for all the sins of humans to be forgivin, our ignorance will only last until we are dead. Forgive them father for they know not what they do.

June 28, 2013 at 1:30 am
(7) john says:

i think that these are all pagan festivals christianity and the bible are the works of a man called paul who never even met our lord jesus.i donot belive int he bible but i belive in jesus to be man and not some hybrid between creator and creation

July 11, 2013 at 12:26 am
(8) Jaki says:

you christian are obsolutely ignorant.. the only reason why it is called good because the term was first used by jews.. that is the day they think they killed prophet jesus.

April 9, 2014 at 3:41 pm
(9) COCONUT says:

If accurate Friday was Nisan 16 the day of resurrection by Jewish reckoning of dates not Greko Roman days of the week.

April 18, 2014 at 4:19 am
(10) Steve says:

Jaki,
So you think the jews killed Jesus and then celebrated?
Have you read a Bible recently?
Jesus said:
“I come to fulfil the scripture…..”
Read Isiah as well. It was planned and intended.
In the Garden of Gethsemini, while praying Jesus says.
“Father, let this cup pass over me. But if it be your will…..”
Lose the Antisemetic crap and try educating yourself.

April 18, 2014 at 4:37 am
(11) Moira S says:

The way I was raised and born a Catholic, we never called it Good Friday..It is called Venerdi Santo..when traslanted it means..”Holy Friday” never understand the whole GOOD or even how Easter eggs and bunnies came about.

April 18, 2014 at 10:17 am
(12) beth says:

The eggs symbolize the rebirth, I think

April 18, 2014 at 1:49 pm
(13) Freejoy says:

Go through the URL for a detailed description about Easter eggs and bunny. :)

April 21, 2014 at 7:22 am
(14) Jim Campbell says:

I think the key is how the meaning of the word “good” has changed. The old meaning of “good” is very strong and speaks of flawless character held in high esteem. The Bible tells us that God alone is “good”. “Good” is a very good word!

But today that word doesn’t mean much – that was a “good” lunch, that was a “good” movie, I had a “good” day, etc.. Basically, now the word refers to the fact of how I liked something, or liked how something happened.

So when it comes to “Good” Friday, I think the day and more importantly what happened on that day reflects God’s flawless, character in making a way for sinful human beings destined for God’s wrath, to be reconciled to Himself by the sacrifice of His only Son. What could possibly be more “good” than that?

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