Good Friday

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Good Friday is the English name for the day that commemorates the Passion of Christ, including the Crucifixion. The word "good" uses its secondary meaning of "holy", not "desirable".[1] In German, the name is "Karfreitag", meaning Mourning Friday.[2]

Crucifixions were repeatedly used by the Romans, and Pontius Pilate was known (and later removed) for his particular brutality, even by Roman standards.

No one would voluntarily submit to such brutal treatment without the faith of life afterwards. All the Gospels describe Jesus as willingly accepting the Crucifixion, and Pilate even scourged (whipped) Jesus as a form of punishment less than death in the apparent hope that would satisfy the crowd. It did not.

Eyewitness John the Apostle described in Greek Jesus' final words and what happened next when He expired on the cross, at John 19:30. But how to translate those two brief, all-important sentences into English is not obvious. Here are some examples:

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.[3]
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.[4]
Jesus therefore, when he had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost.[5]

A modern discovery of the commercial use of the Greek term attributed to Jesus describe its meaning as "paid in full" (i.e., paying the debt incurred by sin in full) rather than "it is finished."[6]


  2. Id.
  3. NIV [1]
  4. KJV [2]
  5. Douay-Rheims [3]