Good Friday is the most solemn day of the Christian year.
It is the day our Savior died for us.
It is the day we were redeemed from our sins by the voluntary death of God Himself at the hands of man.
Here are 9 things you need to know.
1. Why is this day called “Good Friday”
It’s not for the reason you might think.
Despite the fact that “good” is a common English word, tempting us to say the name is based on the fact that something very good (our redemption) happened on this day, that’s not where the name comes from.
Precisely where it does come from is disputed. The Catholic Encyclopedia explains:
The origin of the term Good is not clear. Some say it is from “God’s Friday” (Gottes Freitag); others maintain that it is from the German Gute Freitag, and not speciallyEnglish.
It is also argued that the name is based on a Medieval use of the word good where it meant “holy.” Thus “Good Friday” would have come from “Holy Friday,” the same way we have Holy Thursday and Holy Saturday.
2. What happened on the first Good Friday?
Quite a number of things. During the night, Jesus had been arrested and taken before the high priests Annas and Caiaphas. It was during this time that Peter denied him.
According to the gospels, Jesus:
- Was taken before Pilate in the morning
- Sent to Herod
- Returned to Pilate
- Was mocked and beaten
- Saw Barabbas released in his stead
- Was crowned with thorns
- Was condemned to death
- Carried the crushing burden of his cross
- Told the weeping women what would happen in the future
- Was crucified between two thieves
- Forgave those who crucified him
- Entrusted the Virgin Mary to the beloved disciple
- Assured the good thief of his salvation
- Said his famous seven last words
- Cried out and died
- There was darkness over the land
- There was an earthquake
- The veil of the temple was torn in two
- Many saints of the Old Testament period were raised
- A soldier pierced Christ’s side and blood and water flowed out
- Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body
- He was buried in Joseph’s own tomb
- A guard was set over the tomb
- All Jesus’ friends and family grieved at his death
If you’d like to read the gospel accounts themselves, you can use these links: