I am not sure calling today "Good Friday" is a true reflection on the nature of that day. Calling it "Good" prejudices us to its injustice and the intensity of what was happening at that illegal and mock trial, and in the denials and mocking, and on that Roman tree of death.
Calling that day "Good" devotionalizes that day and desensitizes us to that moment in time. It is better, more appropriately, called "Dark Friday." We need it to be dark, for that Friday reveals all our rebellion and division and personal and collective sin; that Friday was the worst of all days; the darkest of all moments. Joy comes in the morning, but not on that Friday. The God of all creation, a creation in rebellion against Him, reveals how dark we have become on that day. We need that day to be Dark Friday. Nothing. Absolutely nothing else will do. Dark Friday saves us, our neighborhoods, our communities. The cruelness of that moment reveals how deeply sinful is our ways of rebellion and how devastating its results. Dark Friday shows us not only the condition of our hearts, but also the reality of what we can and do to our neighbors.
Calling this day "Good" makes us feel good about ourselves and sanitizes our view of the world around us. Today is Dark Friday to a billion on this planet and it is Dark Friday to way too many of our neighbors. This day should cause us to go into every dark corner of this world (of our neighborhoods and communities) and rescue those living in the dark. No matter the cost. This is what Dark Friday is.
Chip M. Anderson, advocate for biblical social action; pastor of an urban church plant in the Hill neighborhood of New Haven, CT; husband, father, author, former Greek & NT professor; and, 19 years involved with social action.