What's so 'good' about Good Friday?

On a dark Friday two thousand years ago, Jesus of Nazareth was crucified. Powerful members of the religious, political, and military communities colluded to strip him naked, mock him publicly, and crucify him. Yet two millennia later, Christians—who believe that Jesus is the Son of God—celebrate that dark day by calling it Good Friday.

Why on earth would Christians refer to this day as “good” Friday?

It’s called Good Friday because even while powerful men were conspiring to kill the Son of God, God himself was acting to save the world from itself, once and for all. Even while the world’s authorities were conspiring to perpetrate history’s greatest evil, God was working to bring about history’s greatest good.

It didn’t have to be this way. After all, God created the world as his good kingdom in which humans could flourish, and in which they would never have to experience evil. Yet, the very first couple, Adam and Eve, decided to seize power for themselves and, in so doing, introduced evil into God’s good kingdom. From that day forward, humanity would live in a world riddled by evil and its consequences.

In the aftermath of Adam and Eve’s mutiny, God promised that he would one day send a Savior who would undo evil. That Savior was Jesus. The Bible says that “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17).

But what does Jesus’ crucifixion have to do with him saving the world? In response to that question, here are three things Jesus’ crucifixion accomplished, which together provide a powerful explanation of why Christians call that dark day “Good Friday”:

1. On the cross, Jesus suffered so that we would not have to suffer.

Unlike other religions Christianity teaches that all of us are born with a tendency to sin. Like Adam and Eve, we refuse to recognize God as God and we break his law repeatedly. Because God is the universal King and ultimate Law-giver, our sins are mutinous; they represent an attempt to steal his kingship and replace his laws. The Bible teaches that all of us deserve death as the penalty for our law-breaking.

Yet the Bible also teaches that God loves us and does not want us to suffer the penalty of our sin. For that reason, he took on a human body and came to earth as Jesus. When he did that, he “traded places” with us. He lived the sinless life that we should have lived, and died the death that we deserve to die. He took our guilty record, died for it, and offers us his perfect record in return. That is why the apostle Paul declared that “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1).

2. Through the cross, we can be reconciled to God and each other.

Because of our sins, we alienate ourselves from God and others, but Jesus saves us from our sins in order to mend those relationships. That is why the Bible says, “For it pleased the Father that . . . by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col 1:19-20). In fact, Jesus’ reconciling powers will cause all relational barriers to be torn down, including the barriers of ethnicity and nationality (Rev 5:9-10).

3. Because of the cross and resurrection, we have hope for the future.

The Bible connects Jesus’ crucifixion with his resurrection. After Jesus suffered on the cross, he was buried, but on the third day he rose from the grave! When he rose from the dead, he not only confirmed his divinity but declared that he would return one day to make things right. He will return to disestablish evil, sin, and death from their artificial throne, and establish himself as the true King over a kingdom characterized by justice, peace, and love (Rev 21-22).

Until that day, he leaves us with a two-fold invitation: He invites us, first of all, to embrace him as the Savior that he is, to trust in him alone for our salvation. The Bible teaches that he alone can save (Acts 4:12) and that there is no sinner too bad for him to save (1 Tim 1:15). But he invites us, second of all, to allow his saving power to electrify our lives, turning us into the type of people whose speech and actions are patterned after his.

It does seem odd to refer to anybody’s death as “good.” Yet, God’s good plan is often counterintuitive: As Jesus says, “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life will find it; “the first are the last and the last are the first” (Mark 10:31); and yes, through the “good” death of God’s Son, humanity can receive true life (Rom 5:10). 


LENTING A HAND Is Good Friday a Bank Holiday and when is it in 2017? Easter celebrations and Christian festivals explained

THE countdown to Easter is in full swing – and millions of people across the globe are gearing up to celebrate the annual festival.

Numerous different events mark the Christian calendar during Lent, before the resurrection of Jesus is celebrated. Here’s the lowdown on Good Friday…

With Easter looming, here’s everything you need to know about Good Friday…

When is Good Friday?

This year, Good Friday has fallen on April 14.

In different traditions, the date is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Black Friday or Easter Friday.

It marks the start of the Easter long weekend, which includes Easter Monday on April 17.

Is Good Friday a bank holiday?

Good news, Good Friday is a bank holiday so many people have already begun the long Easter weekend.

Monday April 17 is also a bank holiday, but not every work will give employees these two Easter dates off.

Bank or public holidays do not have to be given to employees as paid leave, an employer can decide whether to include bank holidays as part of a worker’s statutory leave.

The Government website has more details on what your worker’s rights are in regards to public holidays.

Bank holidays may also impact how benefits are paid, the gov.uk website explains how they may be affected.

As some will get the day off work, a clever trick has shown how you can get 18 consecutive days off work using just NINE days of annual leave.

Why do we celebrate Good Friday?

Good Friday is commemorated because the date marks the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary.

Accounts of the Gospel state that it was the day that the son of God was betrayed by Judas, before he was sentenced to death.

The date falls during Holy Week on the Friday before Easter Sunday, and sometimes coincides with the Jewish celebration of Passover.

Experts believe the event has been coined “Good Friday” because the word “good” means pious or holy.

Are there any other Easter dates to look out for?

Lent spans for 40 days, and there are numerous events celebrated in the Christian calendar during this holy period.

Here are all the Easter-related festivities to look out for…
  • Shrove Tuesday – February 28
  • Ash Wednesday – March 1
  • Palm Sunday – April 9
  • Spy Wednesday – April 12
  • Maundy Thursday – April 13
  • Good Friday – April 14
  • Holy Saturday – April 15
  • Easter Sunday – April 16
  • Easter Monday – April 17

Tesco sorry for Good Friday beer advert

Tesco has apologised for any offence from a beer advertisement that claimed "Good Friday just got better".
The ad ran in some newspapers to promote "great offers on beer and cider" in the run-up to Easter.

The supermarket said it would not run the ad again after it attracted criticism from some religious figures.
Vicar and broadcaster, the Reverend Richard Coles, said the advert was "extraordinarily and unnecessarily ignorant".

Good Friday is when Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Some choose to mark the day by fasting, which can include abstaining from eating meat or drinking alcohol.

There is some dispute about why it is called "good", with some suggesting the day is "good" in that it is holy, and others that the phrase is a corruption of "God's Friday".

Why is Good Friday called Good Friday?

A Tesco spokesperson told the BBC: "We know that Easter is an important time of the year for our customers.
"It is never our intention to offend and we are sorry if any has been caused by this advert."

Tesco "got it badly wrong" with the "crass" advert, Michael Wakelin, from the faculty of divinity at Cambridge University, told BBC 5 live Daily.

It was also a "decidedly poor way of treating such a holy day", said Mr Wakelin, a former head of BBC religious programmes.

"I'm sure there was no attempt to offend, I'm sure that wasn't in their mind.

"It is just religious illiteracy; ignorance if you like, around what religious people hold dear, and that is my main concern," he added.

Rev Coles said on Twitter that the advert "causes unnecessary offence to many. It didn't need to."

However, other Twitter users felt the advert was not offensive.

"Like it or not the Easter is also a secular holiday as well as a religious one. Most are travelling to families rather than to church," one user wrote.

It comes after Cadbury and the National Trust were criticised for apparently dropping the word Easter from their egg hunts.

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