According to Ken Collins (www.kencollins.com), Good Friday in German is called Mourning (Karfreitag) Friday because it was on this day that the disciples of Jesus mourned at His crucifixion. He further adds that the word good had a secondary meaning, holy; and how in some phrases the words God and Good was switched around because of their similarity (ex: God be with you, today is simply, good-bye). So maybe at one time, Good Friday may have been called God Friday.
Whether or not Ken Collins' findings are true or not, I can see validity in both terms.
First, the Friday Jesus was crucified was indeed a God Friday. God, in the person of Jesus, transferred onto Himself, the sin of every individual, past, present and future. The Lord God Almighty, the creator of everything seen and unseen, became sin for us! Words cannot accurately express the agony the Lord experienced as He became seared, beaten and tortured with our filthiness: perverseness, iniquity and indifference.
Secondly, it was a Good Friday. It was Good in that Jesus' sacrifice of Himself on Calvary in our place bought our redemption; it reconciled us back into a right relationship with God. It delivered us from the power and consequence of sin and the devil.
Without the shedding of Christ's blood there would be no forgiveness of sin. Therefore the Christian rejoices instead of mourning in commemorating the death, burial and resurrection of the Savior.
Yet there is a part of this most sacred of holy days where some mourning on our part should take place. We should mourn at what our sins cost a Holy God.
I'm reminded of an old hymn that was sung every Communion Sunday at the church I attended as a youth and has stuck with me throughout my life. Its words prevent me from taking the Lord's death for granted. It urges me to fall on my knees in humble submission and gratitude for all that the Lord became for me.
LEAD ME TO CALVARY
King of my life, I crown thee now -
Thine shall the glory be;
Lest I forget Thy thorn crowned brow,
Lead me to Calvary.
Lest I forget Gethsemane,
Lest I forget Thine agony,
Lest I forget Thy love for me,
Lead me to Calvary.
May I be willing Lord to bear--
Daily my cross for Thee;
Even Thy cup of grief to share--
Thou hast borne all for me.
Anna M. Caison, third (eldest daughter) of eleven children, born in Chicago, Illinois. She is an ordain minister, Preschool Teacher and freelance writer for adults and children. www.christmadeknowninme.org