What’s so good about Friday?

A study released in 2018 revealed what most of us already knew to be true: Friday is the best day of the week.

The study revealed that most of us dislike Mondays, are indifferent toward the midweek days of Tuesday through Thursday and love the weekends, especially the gateway thereto: Friday.

The study explained that our affinity for Friday is due in part to the frequency with which we speak of it on a regular basis and the way we speak of it. The report specifically points to the numerous references to Friday in pop songs as playing a big role in shaping our opinions.

Apparently, speaking of a day of the week in a positive way for extended periods of time has a significant impact on how we perceive and experience that day. While there are other possibly more substantial reasons why we view Friday in a positive light, I can see how the positive emphasis we place on that day of the week throughout the week would impact our perception of it.

The reasoning breaks down for me, however, when I consider Good Friday. This is the day on which Christians remember and reflect upon the horrible death Jesus suffered on the cross in order to redeem the world by paying the penalty for the sins of humanity.

For several years, I worked with a pastor who would note that he felt calling it Good Friday did the day injustice. Instead, he proposed that the day should be called Great Friday. In the context of the Easter narrative, I’ve always trended somewhat in the other direction. I’ve always thought to myself, “What’s so good about Friday?”

Based on the accounts found in the gospels, Jesus was arrested on a Thursday, he was taken to trial on Friday morning and by late Friday afternoon or early evening, he hung lifelessly on the cross.

There is nothing good about this particular Friday for Jesus. On that day, the perfect son of God was violently and unjustly convicted and executed for mistakes and misdeeds that were not his own.

I’ve never been to a Good Friday service that was upbeat and exciting. They always feel more like a funeral, and rightly so. It was on that Friday that Jesus gave his life to pay the price we owed. It feels like a funeral because a life was lost, and the fault is ours.

What makes Good Friday good isn’t necessarily the events of the day but the doors that swung open wide through them. Just as an average Friday represents the conclusion of the struggle of the workweek and the gateway to the celebration of the weekend, Good Friday represents the conclusion of the power of sin and death over humanity and the opening of the glories of heaven to all who believe. The death of Good Friday ultimately gave way to the new life of resurrection Sunday.

There is a line from a pop song from the 1980s that has been running through my head as I’ve been writing: “Everybody’s working for the weekend.” That sentiment rings true to me on a personal level, and as it turns out, it rings true to most of us.

To one extent or another, each of us is looking to the finish line of Friday, not necessarily because of the goodness of Friday, but because of the greatness of the weekend that follows.

As we make our way to Easter, I would argue the same is true. It’s appropriate to remember the events surrounding Good Friday, but what makes it good is the greatness of the weekend and the celebration of resurrection Sunday. Chris is risen. Christ is risen indeed.

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