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Friday, March 25, 2016


Why is the "worst" day in Christendom, the day Jesus was crucified and killed, called Good Friday?  And is this a holiday or what?

Good Friday is not a Federal holiday.  Many states (11?) set aside this day as a public holiday, as do some counties and such throughout the nation.  Schools are mostly closed and the stock market is idle, but your mail will be delivered today.  

It's a judicial mess, as courts have been mixed on passing judgement.  Yes, Christmas is a national holiday, and has been determined in court to be Constitutional, but Christmas was celebrated before we became an official country,  Further, 96% of those who wrote the Constitution were Christian, and the decline to 71% today is still reasonably dominate, when you pile on the business sector, which will fight off any attempt to un-make Christmas as a Federal holiday.

So why is Good Friday called Good Friday?
  • Because this was a great table-setting day:
    • One person, Jesus, died for "our"sins.  Terrific ratio:  one for more than a 100 billion.
    • Jesus lived on anyway, for two days later he was resurrected (apparently he died and came back to Heaven--which is exactly what will happen to the good people who believe, they think)  and will someday soon return to re-save us again.
  • This is a matter of etymology:  What was Sacred Friday and/or Holy Friday a millennium or so ago, a day of mourning, transitioned to become "good."
  • Some say this was once God's Friday, and segued over many centuries, into Good Friday.  There is again etymology at work here, but might well, too, have been simple enunciation shift.  And for those who wondered what etymology is...a study of how words change meaning over time.
  • Brilliant word-smithing.  The transition from Bad Friday to Easter Sunday, the shift from terrible to terrific, can only inspire new religions to be formed, that is, from all the turmoil of life on Earth to the perfection of Heaven to come.
Ever wondered why Good Friday, unlike Christmas, keeps changing dates?  First of all Jesus Christ was almost surely not born on December 25.  November 18, March 28 and end of September are more likely candidates, but that is a posting for another day.

From Wikipedia:

Notionally, the paschal full moon refers to the ecclesiastical full moon of the northern spring used in the determination of the date of Easter.

Now that you are as confused as I am, let me try to simplify all this with a timeline.  
  • First, all the above calculates to Good Friday occurring from March 20 to April 23.  
  • The paschal part refers to Passover, the one week celebration linked to the Exodus of Moses-led Jews from Egypt to escape from slavery approximately 2500 years ago.
  • Then, it was more than two millennia ago that Jesus, on a Thursday night, had a Passover meal with his disciples, commonly known today as the Last Supper
  • The story goes that Judas betrayed Jesus for something like $400 today, but other viewpoints indicated, nah, Satan stepped into Judas, and yet another suggested that this was all orchestrated by Jesus to maximize publicity.  Hey, we're talking about the bible and biblical scholars, not quantum theory, which in itself can't find 96% of what we see and don't.  That's Judas, then in the direction of Jesus, Peter to John...or Mary?
  • So anyway, Jesus is arrested just after midnight.  From all reports, Pontius Pilate, Roman governor, sided with Jesus, but Jewish high priests, jealous of Jesus, prevailed, and Christ was condemned.   On Friday, Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ (incredibly enough, according to Rotten Tomatoes, 80% of moviegoers like this film) is the most vilified of all the movies depicting this day (although you might want to  also look at the 10 worst Christ movies) on the outskirts of Jerusalem.
  • Apparently through Holy Saturday the tomb was well-guarded, and nothing much else happened.  Today, this is mostly a solemn day with minimal merrymaking.
  • On Easter Sunday, the large stone covering the entrance was removed, and there was no corpse.  Here are at least four possibilities on the fate of the body, but the Resurrection theory became an important foundation of Christianity.
So to close, my final sermon for the day.  If Jesus was Jewish, why aren't all Christians Jews?  In the Islam faith, when Prophet Muhammad died in 632, a schism occurred in the transition scenario:
  • Shias:  leadership should be kin of Muhammad.
  • Sunni:  new leaders should come by vote.
In Christianity, it was more like evolution, where beliefs spun off over time.

It is so detailed, that you can't read it, but go to THIS if interested.  Today, less than 1% (0.8%) of Christians are Jews.  Likewise, almost 90% of Muslims are Sunni (99% of Indonesia, for example), with the great preponderance of the rest, Shia, located in Iran:

Can Muslims celebrate Easter?  Well, same venerated Jesus, but, apparently, no.  Christmas...well, no too.  Save for Malaysia (there is a national holiday for Muhammad, that jumps around from October to February--and Christmas is also a holiday--Muhammad Day this year was on December 24), basically Muslims don't honor birthdays, for there is no universal national holiday for Muhammad. More recently, all that crass commercialization makes it all the worse.  Then again, the United Arab Emirates last year declared December 24 as a public holiday for their Prophet.  UAE and Qatar are, some say insidiously, dragging the Middle East into the future.


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