• The Not-So-Good Friday? Best News Ever on Keys for Kids Radio!

Today is called “Good Friday”, which seems like a really terrible name because very bad things happened to Jesus on this day. So why is it called Good Friday? Let’s find out.

too long; didn't read: Even though a lot of bad stuff happened, it was all a part of God’s plan to save people from being controlled by sin and having to be punished for all the bad things they’ve done. It was a good Friday because God used it for good.

1. People lied about Jesus, and He was punished for it

The day before Good Friday, Jesus was arrested and taken to the Sanhedrin, which was a group of the most important Jewish priests who decided what was right and wrong like a judge in a court.

They looked about as angry as this judge too

Nobody in the Sanhedrin liked Jesus; they were jealous of Him because He had a lot of followers and He called them out on being selfish for trying to hold onto their power. So they got some people to lie in court about bad things Jesus had done (even though he didn’t do those things), but they couldn’t even tell the same lies! 

Even though it was clear that Jesus had done nothing wrong, the Sanhedrin decided that He was a blasphemer (someone who insults God) because He claimed to be the Son of God. The punishment for blasphemy is death according to Jewish laws, and that’s what the Sanhedrin wanted for Jesus.

2. Jesus was accused of trying to take down the Roman government

When Jesus told everyone He was the Messiah, many people expected Him to lead a rebellion against the Roman government, but Jesus didn’t come to free people from the Romans, He came to free everyone in the whole world from being controlled by sin.

Jesus’ enemies used His words against Him, claiming that Jesus wanted to overthrow the Roman government, so they brought Him to Pilate, the Roman governor, and accused Him of treason (working against the Romans). The punishment for treason under the Romans was - you guessed it - death. 

*not an actual Roman governor

But Pilate took one look at Jesus and could tell He was no rebel leader. He couldn’t find any reason to condemn Jesus to death, and he even tried to convince the crowd of people to let Jesus go. But they all shouted “Crucify!”, and so Pilate gave in to their pressure and ordered his soldiers to beat and crucify Jesus.

3. Jesus was crucified and buried

This is the most awful part about Good Friday, when Jesus actually had to carry His cross from Jerusalem way up to Golgotha, “The Place of the Skull”. He had been beaten so much, He couldn’t carry it Himself, and the soldiers ordered a guy walking by to carry it instead.

They put Jesus on the cross about 9 in the morning, and Jesus hung there for six hours! He was held up by giant nails stuck through the palms of His hands and another nail through both of His feet, and the only way He could breathe was by pulling Himself up on the nails, taking a breath, and letting Himself back down. Crucifixion is one of the most terrible ways to die, and Jesus died that way to save you and me and everyone because He loves us so much!

Jesus finally died about 3 in the afternoon, and a lot of crazy stuff happened. The curtain in the temple was torn from top to bottom by God, and this was a tall curtain. Nobody could have done it themselves the way God did it. There was an earthquake that opened a bunch of tombs, and the book of Matthew says, “many holy people who had died were raised to life...and appeared to many people.” (Matthew 27:51-53).

One of Jesus’ followers, Joseph of Arimathea, had already built a tomb for himself, but instead he had Jesus’ body taken down from the cross and placed Jesus in his tomb. The Roman soldiers guarded the tomb because they thought Jesus’ disciples might try to steal His body and lie about Jesus coming back to life. 

This is where Good Friday ends, but it’s not where it gets its name. If this was were the story stopped, it would actually be called Really Really Sad Friday. BUT, there’s more to come! The bad stuff of Good Friday had to happen so God could do amazing things to make it good! Check back tomorrow and Sunday to see just what God did.