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Jesus Was Crucified. Why Call It Good Friday?

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  • Jesus Was Crucified. Why Call It Good Friday?

    Is that an accurate name?

    http://deeperwaters.ddns.net/?p=8551

    Is it morbid to refer to the day that Jesus was crucified as Good Friday? Let's plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    Good. What do we have in mind? If you asked for a good pizza, one with mouse droppings on it would quite likely not be what you have in mind. If you ask for a good movie, the one with the worst rating at Rotten Tomatoes would not be what you have in mind. If you asked for a good spouse, one who will abuse you and watch internet porn is not what you have in mind. If you ask for a good babysitter, you don't want one who is a convicted and unrepentant pedophile. Yet here we talk about Good Friday and what do we say happened on it? Good Friday is the day that the righteous Son of God was crucified.

    What was that?

    You don't even have to be a Christian at this point to see the problem. Even most non-Christians would hold Jesus up as a good figure worthy of emulation. Few would say that Jesus was the kind of man who deserved crucifixion. Yet that is exactly what happened. So why do we call this day "Good Friday"?

    We do not call it good because something good happened. My stance with Jesus is that based on what we have from Him in the Gospels, either the crucifixion was the most righteous act of all that put to death the most wicked man who ever lived, or it was the most wicked act of all that put to death the most righteous man who ever lived. When we say that this was a wicked act, we say it because we believe Jesus was a righteous man. It is important to note that we are not saying the crucifixion was good or was a good action. Yet if it was not a good action, how can we speak then of Good Friday?

    Simple reflection on your own past should show this. How many of us have gone through times that seemed absolutely horrible at the time and we would not want to repeat them ever again, but in the end we look back on those times and say "Yes. That was a terrible time, but I am ultimately glad I went through it because that time enabled XYZ to happen." Perhaps it led to a new development in your life like a career path or a spouse, or perhaps it led to you developing a certain kind of character that helped you. You would never say that what happened was good, but you would affirm that it was used for good.

    In fact, this is what we get in Romans 8. All things work together for good to them that love the Lord. Paul never once says that all things are good. He's spent much of Romans telling us that much is not good. He instead says all things work for good. Of course, he does not suggest a reckless attitude. He does not think that you should do evil so that good may result, something he explicitly states in Romans 3. He is just saying that whatever happens, if you love the Lord, it will work out for your good. If all Christians everywhere could grasp this message and truly believe it, we would all live radically different lives.

    What changes everything is the resurrection. Were it not for the resurrection, as Frank Turek has said, Good Friday would just be called Friday. In fact, no one would really care about that day. We would never have heard anything about Jesus. He would not be talked about at all today and would have died as a no-name in history not worth mentioning. The only reason we talk about Him today is not because of what happened on Friday, but it is because of what happened on Sunday and we really need to grasp what that was. Jesus rose from the dead indeed, but so what? What does that mean?

    It means God has vindicated the claims of Jesus. Had He stayed dead, it would have been God saying "Yes. Those claims He made are false." By raising Him from the dead, God gives the stamp of approval on Jesus's life. Now there is a new king of this world. There was a challenge to Caesar then and a challenge to all Caesars today. The message we have to give to the world is that Jesus is King and you'd best get in line. We most often want to say it would be "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life." Can anyone imagine a herald going around the Roman Empire saying "Caesar is Lord and he has a wonderful plan for your life." The claim is not about what Caesar will do for you. The claim is about what you will do for the Caesar, or in this case, what you will do for Christ.

    Now does Christ do a lot for you? Yes. He does. He forgives you of your sins, He grants you a place in the Kingdom, and He promises to raise you up on the last day. That's good, but if you stop there, then it's like getting married and then saying "Now what is my spouse going to do for me?" You should be asking the most what you are going to be doing for your spouse. Jesus is not there to serve you. You are there to serve Jesus.

    Good Friday is only good because we know it was used for good and we know that because of the resurrection. No one wants to say what happened was good, but God took the greatest evil done and used it for the greatest good. This should remind us all today that God can take the evil and suffering in our own lives and use that for a greater good.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters

  • #2
    The Orthodox call it "Holy and Great Friday."
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
    sigpic
    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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    • #3
      Incidentally, Jimmy Akin from Catholic Answers has a blog post claiming that the etymology of the English phrase "Good Friday" is debated. He cites this entry from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

      Source: Catholic Encyclopedia

      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.

      © Copyright Original Source

      "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
      --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

      Comment


      • #4
        I think it's worse to say Jesus was crucified on Friday when he wasn't crucified on a Friday.
        "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by seanD View Post
          I think it's worse to say Jesus was crucified on Friday when he wasn't crucified on a Friday.
          How do you figure?
          "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
          --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
            How do you figure?
            There's apparently a bit of a debate over which day it actually happened on; one I haven't had the opportunity to sit down and study.
            "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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            • #7
              Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
              There's apparently a bit of a debate over which day it actually happened on; one I haven't had the opportunity to sit down and study.
              Assuming ancient people could count as well as we can, there's probably a better explanation for today's (and antiquity's) general agreement that the crucifixion happened on Friday and the resurrection happened on Sunday than "somebody made it up and counted wrong."
              Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

              Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
              sigpic
              I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                Assuming ancient people could count as well as we can, there's probably a better explanation for today's (and antiquity's) general agreement that the crucifixion happened on Friday and the resurrection happened on Sunday than "somebody made it up and counted wrong."
                The count of days before the empty tomb is easy to explain, from the perspective of ancient peoples. Such counts were often inclusive counts. The day of the crucifixion would be the first day of the count, the following day would be the second, and the day after that would be the third.
                "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
                  The count of days before the empty tomb is easy to explain, from the perspective of ancient peoples. Such counts were often inclusive counts. The day of the crucifixion would be the first day of the count, the following day would be the second, and the day after that would be the third.
                  Oh, I agree - but there is a (very) small (but vocal) minority of Christians who insist that the usual understanding is incorrect.
                  Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                  Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
                  sigpic
                  I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
                    How do you figure?
                    Considering that from sundown to sundown was considered a full day to a Jew (including a Judeo-Chirstian), believing that Jesus was crucified on Friday sundown and then resurrected on Sunday sunrise wouldn't even equal two days, much less three. There's also some clues in Luke that there was a Sabbath within a Sabbath; i.e. there was a Sabbath the day Jesus was put in the tomb (hence the reason they rush it), which followed the typical Sabbath on Saturday -- women rested on the first day which was a Sabbath, then went and bought the embalming material on the second day, rested on the third day Saturday Sabbath, then went to the tomb somewhere between Saturday sundown to Sunday morning.

                    Also, Good Friday muddies the waters. If it's likely that Friday worship was influenced by pagan festivities, which I believe it was, only tarnishes the true historical Judeo-Chirstian faith, doing more harm than good.
                    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by seanD View Post
                      Considering that from sundown to sundown was considered a full day to a Jew (including a Judeo-Chirstian)
                      This seems rather anachronistic. There's no reason to suspect that a Jew would have required a full 24-hour period in order to count the passage of a day. Quite the contrary, we have copious evidence of inclusive counting from the Ancient Near East. An immediate example which pops to mind is in the counting of regnal years. If a king's reign began halfway into a particular year, then completed ten full years by modern reckoning, and finally ended halfway into another year, ancient peoples very often counted each of those half-years as if they were full years. So, while we would say that king reigned 11 years, the ancients recorded that reign as being 12 years long.

                      believing that Jesus was crucified on Friday sundown
                      Why would you think he was crucified at sundown on Friday? The synoptics (Mark 15:34; Matt 27:46; Luke 23:44) tell us that he died at about three in the afternoon. John doesn't give a specific time for Jesus's death, but the narrative would seem to place it around the same time as the synoptics tell us (John 19:14-30).
                      "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                      --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
                        This seems rather anachronistic. There's no reason to suspect that a Jew would have required a full 24-hour period in order to count the passage of a day. Quite the contrary, we have copious evidence of inclusive counting from the Ancient Near East. An immediate example which pops to mind is in the counting of regnal years. If a king's reign began halfway into a particular year, then completed ten full years by modern reckoning, and finally ended halfway into another year, ancient peoples very often counted each of those half-years as if they were full years. So, while we would say that king reigned 11 years, the ancients recorded that reign as being 12 years long.

                        Why would you think he was crucified at sundown on Friday? The synoptics (Mark 15:34; Matt 27:46; Luke 23:44) tell us that he died at about three in the afternoon. John doesn't give a specific time for Jesus's death, but the narrative would seem to place it around the same time as the synoptics tell us (John 19:14-30).
                        Whether he died on Friday at sundown or in the afternoon, still isn't even two days, so the second part of my post you split apart is irrelevant. Considering the Jewish nature of the gospels (i.e. they all call the resurrection day the "first day of the week" as just one example), there's no reason to believe they would not have based the accounts on the Jewish protocol of days. I'm not sure why I"m even bothering to debate an atheist on the legitimacy of Good Friday. If you want to believe that Good Friday is a legit crucifixion day, have at it; I'm not stopping you.
                        "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by seanD View Post
                          Whether he died on Friday at sundown or in the afternoon, still isn't even two days, so the second part of my post you split apart is irrelevant. Considering the Jewish nature of the gospels (i.e. they all call the resurrection day the "first day of the week" as just one example), there's no reason to believe they would not have based the accounts on the Jewish protocol of days.
                          Once again, the inclusive form of counting is perfectly consistent with Jewish culture, as well as the rest of Ancient Near East culture. There was no "Jewish protocol of days" which required a full 24-hours to pass in order to count a day. So Friday afternoon, when Jesus died, was counted. Then the following day was counted. Then the day of Resurrection was counted. That equals three days.

                          I'm not sure why I"m even bothering to debate an atheist on the legitimacy of Good Friday. If you want to believe that Good Friday is a legit crucifixion day, have at it; I'm not stopping you.
                          The fact that I am an atheist is irrelevant. I am an avid student of history who has a love for the time, culture, and region under discussion; and who maintains a particular fascination with the history of numbers, counting, and mathematics. Given that your signature reads "Just the historical facts," I figured you'd be interested in discussing the historical facts.
                          "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                          --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
                            Once again, the inclusive form of counting is perfectly consistent with Jewish culture, as well as the rest of Ancient Near East culture. There was no "Jewish protocol of days" which required a full 24-hours to pass in order to count a day. So Friday afternoon, when Jesus died, was counted. Then the following day was counted. Then the day of Resurrection was counted. That equals three days.

                            The fact that I am an atheist is irrelevant. I am an avid student of history who has a love for the time, culture, and region under discussion; and who maintains a particular fascination with the history of numbers, counting, and mathematics. Given that your signature reads "Just the historical facts," I figured you'd be interested in discussing the historical facts.
                            It's not that I'm not interested in the historical facts, it's just that I'm bored discussing these things with the skeptical regulars here, especially those that scatter my posts into a bunch of out-of-context pieces. I’ve been here since 2008 and I'm just weary of it, dude, sorry. I posted because I’m willing to discuss it with other Christians, since it's more of a theological issue (or issue with the consistency of scripture), something you're obviously not concerned with as an atheist. The "two-Sabbath" viewpoint addresses issues such as when and how the women made the burial preparations before the Sabbath, coincides with John's "high sabbath" (which was not necessarily the seventh day sabbath), and addresses Jesus' prediction of being in the tomb three days and three NIGHTS. It also offers the solution for the high possibility that Good Friday is pagan in nature. None of these issues you're concerned with as an atheist, in fact, I'm sure you relish the idea that these issues exist.
                            "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              And let me guess.....

                              Constantine did it also. Right?

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