Why is it “Good” Friday?
by Daniel Boyce
I have been asked many times throughout my ministry, why do we call the day Jesus died Good-Friday? Why is this good? Since Jesus was so brutally treated and crucified, how could this be good?
Some say that the name Good Friday has developed from the older God’s Friday. Some traditions call it Holy Friday, Sorrowful Friday, and Long Friday. But we will look at the name Good Friday.
To answer the question let’s first look at why did Jesus come? John the Baptist tells us in John 1:29 that He came as a sacrifice, “…Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Did Jesus know about His death? Did Jesus know He was to die? In Mark 10:33-34 Jesus says this, “…Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.” So, it was prophesied, and Jesus Himself knew He came to die.
But why did He have to die? He had to die for two reason. The first reason was for our sin. I Corinthians 15:3 says, “…how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” Jesus was our substitutionary sacrifice for our sin. But there was a second reason for His death. His death appeased the wrath of God against our sin. The Bible tells us in Romans 6:23 “the wages of sin is death…” Because of our sin, we deserve death, physical, spiritual, and eternal. This is the penalty for our sin. We are told in I John 2:2 “And he is the propitiation for our sins…” Propitiation is a big word that means to appease. Jesus death appeased the wrath of God against our sin. So why did Jesus have to die? To be the sacrifice for my sin, and to appease the wrath of God against my sin.
Jesus knew this was why He came, and His final cry from the cross, just before He gave up His life, recorded in John 19:30 was “It is finished.” What was finished? The work of salvation the Father had sent Him to accomplish. So, after Jesus’ side is pierced, He is taken off the cross and placed in a sealed tomb to await His resurrection. And why was He resurrected? Because the Father accepted His sacrifice.
Therefore, getting back to our original question, why is it called Good Friday? Because by Jesus’ death and resurrection, the gospel believer is justified as seen by Romans 4:25 “Who was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification. II Corinthians 5:21 says, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” We are justified and made righteous. In and of ourselves we cannot be righteous, and there is nothing we could do to justify ourselves. So, we need Christ’s righteousness.
So, you see my friends, in God’s plan of salvation, the Friday that Jesus died so long ago was a good day. For it was the day our Savior voluntarily gave Himself as our sacrifice. It was the day God’s wrath was appeased. Yes, is was indeed a Good Friday.