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Robin Anderson wrote:

Hi, guys—

  • Why do we call Good Friday, Good?

Let's look at the evidence ourselves.

  • Who do you think would call it Good Friday?
  1. Well, the chief priest and the scribes who plotted to seize Jesus in Mark 14.
  2. Then on the trial Mark 14:53 the high priest and all the chief priests, elders, and scribes all looking to end this Man's life who they call the King of the Jews.
  3. Mark 14:64-65 and all who at His trial calling out that He was deserving of death,
    then turned and spat, blindfolded, and beat Him.
  • In Mark chapter 15, where was Pilate's heart as he questioned Jesus about His accusers?

In Mark 15:7-15 a man named Barabbas, a convicted murder, was asked by Jesus' accusers to be set free while choosing The Lamb of God to be crucified in Barabbas' place.

  • Wouldn't Barabbas be celebrating that day as Good Friday or maybe Great Friday?

In Mark 15:16-20 the soldiers and the Roman court mocked Him and beat Him. I can imagined that everyone was in good spirits knowing that this trouble maker was going to be put to death and that the men of God could go back to the way things were. I would also think that the devil himself was saying,

"This is a Good Friday"?

  • How were others thinking that day?
  1. In Mark 14:3 an unknown woman was washing Jesus feet with very expensive perfume.
  2. Mark 14:14 the man who let Jesus and His disciples use his upper room for the last supper.
  3. Mark 15:43 Joseph of Arimathea requesting Jesus body for burial.
  • Where were the hearts and minds of all that were healed, and the ones that had demons cast out, when they found out what had taken place on that Friday?
  • What about the ones that Jesus preached to in the synagogues that came to believe and the 4,000 and the 5,000 that He fed on the hill as He taught?
  • What about His disciples and the women, those that were so close to Him?

Jesus in His on words John 16:20 Truly, truly I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned to joy. Let us not forget the pain and suffering on the Cross and Christ crying out to His heavenly Father in Mark 15:33-37:

My God My God why has Thou forsaken Me?

All of Jesus disciples and I'm sure many others were in fear of their own lives as Jesus was being put on trial and subsequently put to death on the Cross. As a result, His disciples and others would meet in secrecy not knowing what to do next.

  • Was there total victory for His accusers?
  • Did darkness win that day they put Christ to the Cross?

Oh, the win was short lived because of the Resurrection and all that knew Him went from fear to being bold and willing to die for the faith, for now they new the whole truth.

  • The victory is ours but can we honestly say that the day we call Good Friday is right?

That Friday was a dark day for all who lived it and for all of us today.

Maybe with the help of God we can change it to Black Friday. By doing this all non-believers would think there was a great sale going on somewhere.

When they ask:

  • Where is the sale?

We can tell them there is no sale. It is freely given to all that come to know Jesus.

Robin

  { Why do we call Good Friday, good and should we change it to Black Friday as a sales pitch? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Robin —

This is a common question; it's even in our searchable knowledge base:

http://www.AskACatholic.com/SiteSearch

There are a lot of quick answers there, so give it a try.

I searched the knowledge base for you and found these web postings that should help:

You said:

  • In Mark chapter 15, where was Pilate's heart as he questioned Jesus about His accusers?

In Mark 15:7-15 a man named Barabbas, a convicted murder, was asked by Jesus' accusers to be set free while choosing The Lamb of God to be crucified in Barabbas' place.

  • Wouldn't Barabbas be celebrating that day as Good Friday or maybe Great Friday?

To my knowledge Pilate was not a religious man. He was the fifth governor of Judea.

It's interesting that you mention both Pilate and Barabbas because there are events in the life of Jesus (with these people) where we see that God has a pretty good sense of humor.

  • First, during his questioning: At one point, Pilate is looking straight at Jesus, asking Him,

      "What is Truth?"

    The humor being Pilate was looking right at Truth Itself. (John 14:6) ... yet asking this question.

  • The second is at Jesus' trial: When Pilate was asking the people to choose between Jesus or Barabbas.

Keep in mind that in Matthew 16, Jesus refers to Peter as Simon bar Jona
(meaning Simon son of John, because bar means son of, and the word abba, means father.

So at in the court when Pilate asked the people which one he should release the choices were:

  • Jesus Christ, the true Son of the Father, or
    Barabbas or Bar Abbas (the false son of the father)

Although it is not our tradition there are Churches in the East that do celebrate Good Friday as Great Friday. I found this article on Wikipedia interesting:

You said:
Maybe with the help of God we can change it to Black Friday. By doing this all
non-believers would think there was a great sale going on somewhere.

When they ask:

  • Where is the sale?

We can tell them there is no sale. It is freely given to all that come to know Jesus.

I know you mean well, but I don't think we should change the names of major celebrations on the Church calendar based on current cultural and new media definitions of certain words like Black Friday.

For over 1980 years, we have had The Sale. The problem is Catholics have not been:

  • evangelized, or
  • catechized correctly

to appreciate what they have inherited from their loving parents.

This has to change and I believe it starts with developing Catholic Apologetics support groups at the parish level. If any pastor is interested in doing this, I can provide some ideas and suggestions.

I would guess that not even 1 percent of the parishioners at my parish knows what
Catholic Apologetics is and its importance to the life of the Church.

Hope this helps,

Mike

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