Why is it Called Good Friday?
I find it interesting that April 19, 2019 holds so much significance. Four specific “events” all holding a place in my heart.
Today marks the 24th anniversary of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing. The first terrorist attack on US soil by a US citizen. To remember is to not forget. I had no way of knowing the connection of this event to white supremacy would rise up in my own life in 2014.
Being raised in a Christian home, I can tell you all about Easter…
Palm Sunday is when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the donkey as hundreds of townspeople laid their clothing and palm leaves at his feet. This day starts Holy Week and ends Lent.
Maundy Thursday denotes when Jesus hosted the Last Supper. He provided what we call Communion or the Holy Eucharist with holy bread and wine to His disciples. I also know the sinister part of this dinner is when Judas left the table to betray Jesus. As a young girl, I was quite upset with the role Judas played in taking down Jesus.
Today is Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified for our sins.
This morning, a friend of mine (who identifies as a Christian) wrote a note to her son, Noah, answering the question… Why is it called Good Friday? I am sharing part of her note here… “We celebrate the choice He made and the example He set…we celebrate the act of love and that we are loved so intensely that someone would choose their death in our place. If we would live that example of humbleness and sacrifice, wouldn’t this world be better? If we had an ounce of that love and care for others whether they “deserve” it or not, wouldn’t it be better? If we look at others through the lens of the Creator – valuing them in the way He did – with such intense love and humility – with seeing servanthood as the only path, Christ is more than just a figure. He is the ultimate example of Love. Friday is Good because all His words were shown through the action of sacrifice. Words mean nothing without action…he chose to die…he chose you…that is why it’s good, my sweet boy.”
And on Easter Sunday, Christians will shout to Heaven, “He is Risen!” A significant Christian tenant is the belief that Jesus rose from his death on the third day.
Only 5 years ago, I was unaware of the significance of Passover. My work in all faith and a few non-faith traditions has helped me understand how commonalities abound among us.
This afternoon, as Len and I ran in and out of stores gathering items for our Easter dinner and such, I found it interesting how many people said to me, “Happy Easter” or “have a wonderful Easter”. I wanted to say, “you know…today is the first day of Passover and I am Jewish.” For a variety of reasons, I chose not to lie and say, “I am Jewish” and I chose not to embarrass these people who had every intent to be kind.
Perhaps you are unaware that today is the first day of Passover…let me enlighten you, since I didn’t make the effort to the grocery cashier.
Passover is a festival of freedom.
It commemorates the Israelites Exodus from Egypt, and their transition from slavery to freedom. The main ritual of Passover is the seder, which occurs on the first two nights (in Israel, just the first night) of the holiday – a festive meal that involves the re-telling of the Exodus through stories and song and the consumption of ritual foods, including matzah and maror (bitter herbs). The seder’s rituals and other readings are outlined in the Haggadah – today, many different versions of this Passover guide are available in print and online, and you can also create your own. Taken from MyJewishLearning.com.
I have had the pleasure of attending the Passover seder on two occasions. The fun, the merriment of family and friends, the meaning and traditions being passed down from generations…reminded me of my own Christian traditions.
On GOOD FRIDAY, April 18, 2014, we held the funerals for my father and son. I spoke, along with my two brothers, Will and Tony, my husband Len and my sweet 12-year-old, Lukas, before our pastor, Adam Hamilton, led the church in a message about living life through tragedies and finding peace as we move onward.
With all four of these claiming the same day – I wanted to give them some attention.
Acknowledging the spirit of Easter AND Passover in the same message alongside the funerals of my father and son along with the deaths of 168 in a terrorist attack.
These all represent our human existence, life, death, peace, hope, joy and love.
The greatest is LOVE.
In kindness, faith and healing,