QUESTION: WHAT IS THE MEANING OF GOOD FRIDAY?
STUDY REFERENCE: Romans 5:8, 1 Peter 3:18, Galatians 2:20, Luke 23:26-43.
Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, or Easter Friday.
It is a widely instituted legal holiday in many national governments around the world, including in most Western countries (especially among Anglican and Catholic nations) as well as in 12 U.S. states. Some countries, such as Germany, have laws prohibiting certain acts, such as dancing and horse racing, that are seen as profaning the solemn nature of the day.
The Bible does not instruct Christians to remember Christ’s death by honoring a certain day. The Bible does give us freedom in these matters, however. Romans 14:5 tells us, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.”
Rather than remembering Christ's death on a certain day, once a year, the Bible instructs us to remember Christ’s death by observing the Lord’s Supper. First Corinthians 11:24-26 declares, “do this in remembrance of me, for whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.”
In the same way, Good Friday is “good” because as terrible as that day was, it had to happen for us to receive the joy of Easter. The wrath of God against sin had to be poured out on Jesus, the perfect sacrificial substitute, in order for forgiveness and salvation to be poured out to the nations. Without that awful day of suffering, sorrow, and shedding of blood at the cross, God could not be both “just and the justifier” of those who trust in Jesus (Romans 3:26). Paradoxically, the day that seemed to be the greatest triumph of evil was actually the deathblow in God’s gloriously good plan to redeem the world from bondage.