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Why do we call it Good Friday?

March 25, 2016

Lancia E. Smith


Why do we call it Good Friday when a man who had committed no sin, no wrong doing of any kind, was tortured beyond comprehension and then subjected to excruciating public death by crucifixion? What could possibly be good about that?

My simplest explanation is this. Good Friday is the day Good overcame evil. 

God the Father took the worst travesty of justice, the singular and most horrific act of man, and transformed it into history altering, Life-giving Glory. 

On this day, God broke the curse over us, which is Death itself. 

Because one Man who owed no debt of sin at all submitted to God the Father even to death, the requirement for justice was fulfilled. In a single agonizing act of sacrifice, the payment for all our sin was made. He did on behalf of each of us what we could never do for ourselves or anyone else. Yeshua, Son of God, gave His life so that we who believe on His name might have Life with Him forever. God redeemed the absolute worst possible outcome of our worst possible actions with His own supremely best actions. His own act of unconquerable and unalterable love made possible a Good for us that could never have been ours, apart from this act. That is astonishingly Good news! We hear the truth of it ringing here, “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3.16-17

Echoing Augustine from centuries earlier, C.S. Lewis said this so simply in Mere Christianity:

“The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God.”


Today, may you know that His name saves. May your Good Friday be rooted deep in hope. Yes, death has its sting now, there is no denying that. But its terrible grip of finality is broken, death no longer has the final, bitter word. Already the power of Life is washing through the universe, washing immortality into those who believe and receive it. This is our hope and this is our Joy. The Son of God Who died for us, lives! Because He lives, all that is bitter and wrong will be undone and remade right. His Day is swift approaching. Let us be found awake and ready for Him, living out our lives with joy and good cheer, doing the work of this day with courage and hope, cultivating for His kingdom right where we are, brave and rejoicing! 

The featured image is courtesy of Lancia E. Smith and used with her glad permission for Cultivating.


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  1. Jean Mattson says:

    I love your use of the word/concept of washing. It visually signifies cleansing, strength, fullness, unstoppable force.
    Thank you! ❤️

  2. Dearest Jean, thank you. I really think of it, too, as an unstoppable force pouring out into the universe with inherent power, just waiting for the Day when the King returns and sings new life into the world remade.

  3. Jean, thank you. Keeping you in prayer, sweet friend!

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