Good and Friday are pals. They go together like a boy in high school and the girl wearing his lettermans jacket .

“Thank goodness it’s Friday!” We’ve all used that, either verbally or by texting TGIF!.

All of that, theoretically, has to do with the delightful fact that it is the end of the work week, so Saturday and Sunday are coming! Just writing about this on a Wednesday actually gets me a little bit jazzed, showing how deeply the idea of TGIF has dug its way into my psyche.

In fact, for the past few years I’ve been extra thankful for Friday, because it has become my Saturday. My busiest days of the week are Wednesday and Thursday. The work starts at 5:30 on Wednesday and finally stops around midnight on Thursday.

So I get that whole TGIF thing — in fact I love Fridays.

But there is one thing you may not have thought about when using that famous TGIF phrase.

Thank goodness

I haven’t conducted a survey, so I’m just going to go ahead and guess. Most people (including you?) have never personified “goodness.” We just say “thank goodness” as if goodness were a thing.

Used in some phrases, goodness is about the act of being or doing good. For instance, “out of the goodness of one’s heart.”

In an exclamation, however, like “thank goodness” or “for goodness sake,” goodness becomes a substitution for God. That is true even in “thank goodness it’s Friday.”

Personally I think that’s appropriate. It was God, after all, who created time. It was also God who gave mankind the law about “keeping the Sabbath holy.” Sabbath, which even then was a day of rest, means seventh, so that equates to our Saturday. Which makes me wonder if ancient Jews said (in Hebrew, of course) “thank the Lord it’s Friday.”

We’ve always needed rest, and I’m pretty sure we’ve always looked forward to it.

My point, though, is that knowingly or unknowingly, we have thanked God that a day of rest was at hand. That’s good.

But it doesn’t explain “good Friday.”

Bad day

If you watched American Idol back in season 5, you heard Bad Day, a song written by Daniel Powter. He wasn’t a contestant, but the lyrics connected deeply with the contestants who were eliminated from the competition.

Mostly they played the chorus:

Because you had a bad day, you’re taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don’t know, you tell me don’t lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride…
You had a bad day
You had a bad day

I can imagine some of those contestants going, “Yep.”

But is it really a bad day to have been a contestant on such a popular show and had your talent displayed to tens of millions of people? Not compared to some days you’ve had, I guarantee it.

And definitely not compared to the day Jesus had on the day known worldwide as “good Friday.”

The opposite of good

Here’s a little history lesson, just to make sure we’re all together.

Jesus is born (Christmas, we call it), grows up, becomes a teacher (Rabbi) and prophet. He heals people and raises people from the dead. He feeds thousands of people with just a few loaves and fish. Two different times!

People begin to suspect there is something pretty special about Jesus, and many Jews hope he is the Messiah. That means the “anointed one.” They believe the Messiah will deliver them. Because they are currently being oppressed by the Romans, they figure the delivery will be from them.

Lots of people follow Jesus. (He has more people than Taylor Swift.) Twelve of those follow him closely. He teaches them in stories. In a story, and later in plain language, he says he will die. They still have an idea that Jesus will be a king on earth.

Several times while Jesus is teaching, the ruling Jewish authorities try to kill him. They always fail. Eventually they figure out a way to get Rome to do their dirty work. Jesus is arrested on Thursday night. Friday he will die. The Jews, after all, had to observe the Sabbath.

Here was Friday: About 7 a.m. Jesus is sentenced to death by Pilate. He is then beaten severely, stripped, mocked, and given a crown of thorns. Around 8 a.m. he is led away to be crucified. At the 3rd hour (9 a.m.) he is nailed, through his ankles and wrists, to a wooden cross. At 3 p.m., a soldier stabs Jesus in the side with a spear. When both water and blood come out, they know he’s dead.

That was a very bad day for Jesus. It was also bad for his followers.

Incredible good

From there the story improves a lot. Jesus was buried in a tomb on Friday, but on Sunday morning it was discovered that he wasn’t in it — he had risen from the dead and was alive again. Today we call that Easter. Some call it “resurrection Sunday.”

He appeared to his followers, and also to many hundreds more.

That makes Sunday good, and it takes some of the sting out of Friday, but how could it be good?

“Good” here actually means “holy.” That usage is now obsolete, though many have heard of the “good book.” That’s a name for the Bible, and there as well, good means holy.

What Jesus did on Friday — giving his life as a sacrifice for anyone who would accept it — was an act of amazing love. In the sense of “good days and bad days,” almost everyone who looked at it in real time saw it as bad.

Now we know better, though we can barely fathom the suffering of Jesus.

When you have a bad day, remember two things: first, Jesus gets it; and second, your bad day may lead to incredible good. It did for Jesus and the world.

Do good. It’s in you!

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