Submitted by Ed Swanson of Santa Monica, California

One expert, Erroll F. Rhodes, an assistant director of the American Bible Society, indicates that such an interpretation is possible. But he, like all of the other sources we contacted, was more inclined to see the “Good” as a demonstration of Christian faith:

“One settles on the rhetorical level by calling it an example of irony. Another (rationale) is based on a recognition that humanity was redeemed through the supreme sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Superficially, this may be described as a paradox, but theologians have traditionally called it a mystery, recognizing that without Good Friday there can be no Easter – a profound truth of experience that (in the words of Mark Twain) is stranger than fiction.”

It might be difficult for non-Christians to comprehend how believers could not see the anniversary of their Savior as a day to be mourned rather than celebrated. But from the religious perspective, many “tragedies” are perceived through the prism of later redemption. Marie Anne Mayeskie, of Loyola Marymount University’s department of theology, eloquently expresses this point of view:

“Good Friday is called ‘Good’ because it is the day on which Christians celebrate the accomplishment of salvation by Christ. It is, in Christian liturgical celebration particularly, not essentially a sad, though certainly a solemn event, which is viewed from the perspective of the Resurrection. The Christian tradition understands the work of Christ to have transformed the human realities of death, and even sin. In this connection, a solemn prayer for the Easter Vigil calls the sin of Adam ‘a happy fault which merited so great a redeemer.’”


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