Question: Why is the Friday before Easter Sunday called GOOD FRIDAY? What is so GOOD about our Savior suffering?
Answer: The Friday you mention is also called in various countries Holy Friday, Black Friday, Great Friday, Long Friday, and Silent Friday.
The phrase "Good Friday" does NOT appear in the Bible and neither does the word "Friday." The ONLY day called by a given name in the Bible is the seventh day, which is the Sabbath. The names of the other days are first, second, third and so on.
Good Friday is a fast day created by the Roman Catholic Church in the 4th century A.D. (long after Jesus died). Its purpose is to commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus. The following is the Catholic Church's explanation:
"Good Friday is the English designation of Friday in Holy Week -- that is, the Friday on which the Church keeps the anniversary of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
"From the earliest times the Christians kept every Friday as a feast day; and the obvious reasons for those usages explain why Easter is the Sunday par excellence, and why the Friday which marks the anniversary of Christ's death came to be called the Great or the Holy or the Good Friday. The origin of the termGood 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 specially English." (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VI, 1909)
Another source clarifies why the Catholics called for a Good Friday fast, how someone might observe it, and when the death of Jesus is actually celebrated:
"The Catholic Church treats Good Friday as a fast day, which in the Latin Rite of the Church is understood as having only one full meal (but smaller than a regular meal) and two collations (a smaller repast, two of which together do not equal one full meal) and on which the faithful abstain from eating meat. In countries where Good Friday is not a day of rest from work, the afternoon liturgical service is usually put off until a few hours after the recommended time of 3 p.m.
"The Celebration of the Passion of the Lord takes place in the afternoon, ideally at three o'clock, but for pastoral reasons a later hour may be chosen. The vestments used (by Roman Catholic priests) are red (more commonly) or black (more traditionally)." (Wikipedia, article 'Good Friday')
According to Catholic dogma, which has largely been carried over into the Protestant churches, Jesus was killed on Friday and resurrected Sunday morning (in 33 A.D. usually), with the anniversaries of those dates observed as part of the Easter celebration.
A little research shows that the origin of what is called Easter has NO Biblical basis whatsoever! The Early New Testament church neither taught nor observed an Easter holiday. In order to move people away from celebrating the Biblical Christian Passover, the Catholic Church adopted and Christianized a pagan holiday that celebrated the false goddess Ishtar (Astarte). The Babylonians and Assyrians worshiped this goddess. She symbolized fertility, love, war, and sex. The holiday in her honor occurred around the spring equinox.
According to the BIBLE, Jesus was crucified and died at 3 p.m. on a Wednesday (in 30 A.D.), spent three full days and nights in a tomb (72 hours total), then was resurrected back to life by God just before sunset Saturday. In order to fulfill prophecy Jesus could not have died on "Good Friday!"
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Written by: Clay Willis
additions by BibleStudy.org