Good Friday


Dear Grace, I have never understood why the day Jesus died a horrible, painful death on the Cross is called "Good Friday." Please tell me why we call it good.

I have written about this before, but I think it is important that we consider it again. The crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ was surely the greatest single act of evil that ever occurred in the history of the human race. There has never been anything worse done than to kill the only Son of God. So, we ask ourselves why did God allow that? And why is the day that He died called "Good Friday"?

Jesus Christ, who was God Himself, went to the cross, willingly, for a reason. It was His mission. By dying, He brought about the greatest "good" that ever was — the salvation of mankind. We were on our way to destruction, but by His death, He opened the gates to heaven, which had been closed after the original sin of Adam, and thus madea way for us. This is why it was "good."

Did God have to save us by becoming one of us and suffer and die? No, of course not. He could have done it in any way He wished. In choosing suffering, He showed us love, and yes, even joy. In Old Testament times (before Christ), suffering had no real meaning. It was thought that when people suffered, it was a punishment from God, but Jesus changed all that. He transformed suffering into love. He said there is no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend.

So, when we suffer or witness others suffering, we should not run away from it. Instead, run to the cross. The cross is the answer. If we look long and deeply enough, we will see love and that love will transform us, change us, and hopefully then lead to even greater good in the world.


Grace MacKinnon. "Good Friday." (March, 2003).

Reprinted with permission of Grace MacKinnon.


Grace MacKinnon is a syndicated columnist and public speaker on Catholic doctrine. She is the author of Dear Grace: Answers to Questions About the Faith published by Our Sunday Visitor. Order online by e-mail at or call 1-800-348-2440.

Readers are welcome to submit questions about the Catholic faith to: Grace MacKinnon, 1234 Russell Drive #103, Brownsville, Texas 78520. Questions also may be sent by e-mail to:

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Copyright © 2003 Grace D. MacKinnon

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