Summary: The significance of what we call Good Friday is what actually happened and for what purpose!
If we look in the Bible, no matter which translation, we will not find the words “Good Friday”. The words Christmas and Trinity are also not in the Bible, does it mean we should ignore them? Absolutely not! Christmas, The Trinity, Good Friday, and even the word Easter are just words we use. Sadly, people, especially overzealous “Christians”, can be so caught up with words, arrogance and pride becomes an issue! The important thing is we understand the Biblical significance of words which aren’t found in the Bible but are generally used!
Let us also note that some people get so caught up with dates that they miss the significance of the events! Some people will argue that Christmas didn’t happen in December or that Jesus did not die on a Friday.
We need to stick to the main points of what God is telling us in Scriptures! God even warns us about arguments and being judgmental. Please open your Bibles to Romans 14 and read along with me verses1-13…..
Here’s a key verse: Romans 14:9, “For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.” What we need to do is encourage one another to live a life for the Lord Jesus Christ!
Which one encourages people to live for Jesus Christ, arguing about words and dates or truly understanding the significance of the words and events?
And so, what’s the significance of Good Friday?
Let’s start with the general definition of Good Friday.
We can find Good Friday defined in the dictionary as the Friday before Easter annually observed to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Not a bad definition right? Let me briefly share with you how so many people can have an argument about Good Friday based on this definition.
There is the question of the date; because there are many ways of figuring out the date (one can of course look at the Gospels, some have used the life of the Apostle Paul, astronomical models are used, 2 years ago a Vatican scholar discovered the burial certificate of "Jesus of Nazareth" on the Shroud of Turin!) Even with all these resources, the year that Jesus was crucified is estimated to be between 30-36A.D. Bible Scholars’ best guess for the crucifixion of Christ is a span of 6 years!
Then there is the question of the actual day! Alright, turn up your listening ears and put on your thinking caps; maybe this will be of help to you: According to the Jewish calendar, Jesus died on 15 Nisan, the first day of Passover, which according to the Gregorian (Western) calendar would be April 7. Christians, however, do not commemorate this fixed date. Instead, they follow the apparently flexible date of the Jewish Passover—which conforms to the Jewish lunisolar calendar rather than the Gregorian solar calendar!
There are over forty calendars currently in use, and many others that have been used or have been invented; examples are the Jewish Calendar, Gregorian Calendar, Julian Calendar, Mayan Calendar, Chinese Calendar!
What is more important: arguing about the exact date of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ or fully understanding what happened and why?
Again, here’s the general definition of Good Friday:
Good Friday is the Friday before Easter annually observed to commemorate the crucifixion of Christ.
Not only the date for Good Friday, there are many other topics people can argue about: What is Easter? There were so many people crucified by the Romans, who really is Jesus Christ? Did Jesus actually die on the cross?
What’s significant about Good Friday? Remember the key verse from Romans 14:9? “For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.” The significance of what we call Good Friday is what actually happened and for what purpose! And for this, we must simply read and listen to God through His Word! The crucifixion of Jesus Christ is described in all 4 Gospels. Today, let us look to Matthew 27. Let us read Matthew 27:32-66 and think of the answer to the question, what happened on that “Good Friday” and why?
And so let summarize what happened:
1. A man named Jesus was mocked and crucified!
Who was that Jesus? In this passage, the people quoted what Jesus said about Himself: v40: Son of God, v42-43: Saved people, King of Israel, Trusts in God, and in v45 we note Jesus having a very personal relationship with God! The man Jesus crucified was the Son of God, Savior, King, and One with God!
And in v45, we also note that
2. God forsook Jesus Christ while on the cross!
Do you think Jesus was surprised that that was going to happen?? Jesus knew everything that was going to happen! What did Jesus tell His disciples during the Last Supper? Turn briefly with me to Matthew 26:26-32….