Being raised in the Jewish faith, the celebration of Good Friday was something I always struggled with. When history’s most prominent man was killed on this day, how is that good? Sounds like a bad Friday to me. Especially after such a lovely dinner party where everyone drank wine and received a mini-pedi. So, what makes it good? I set out to discover this and turned to good ole Google to begin my “extensive” research.
- In Germany it’s called Karfreitag and the rough translation is Mourning Day
- After the crucifixion of Jesus occurred a “good” change was brought about to the world
- Fun fact: Did you know when asked to name three people, living or dead you’d like to have a dinner with, the number one requested person is Jesus
Next, I turned to Tyler Perry and his live musical production called: The Passion – not to be confused with The Passion of the Christ by the actor who hates Jews – that was not a musical. Perry’s version is said to be more “relatable” so I gave it a try. Spoiler alert: Madea does not make an appearance which is a shame because she could have set those Romans straight on their judicial system.
Sarcasm aside, the musical was very modern, very entertaining, and Perry reached a new audience with the message of Christ which was to love others (and to not pay their taxes). Surprisingly, the star of the show wasn’t Jesus, but Mary aka Trisha Yearwood. Let’s hear it for the moms! American Idol alumni Chris Daughtry played Judas. And you haven’t seen anything until you watch a 20-foot illuminated cross make its way down Bourbon Street.
Perry asked a significant question to the viewers: If we were to meet Jesus today, would we listen to him or just ask him for a selfie? Not sure, but I’m sure there would be a few who would want him to turn their water into wine. Officially, Jesus died from suffocation on Good Friday and was resurrected three days later on Easter. So I guess that’s good, right?
Lastly, I called Rabbi Scott at Beth Israel to ask what makes Good Friday, good, from the Jewish perspective. Here’s what she said, “Not one thing. There is no religious significance of Good Friday for Jews, but we respect that this is a sacred weekend to others.”
Some other facts I was confused on – I thought Jesus was arrested on the second night of Passover – and that was the famous “Last Supper” painted by Leonardo da Vinci. I was wrong. Depending on the calendar year, Passover and Easter are moving targets. This year, Passover doesn’t begin until Apr 22, nearly four weeks after Easter. Back in the day, it was typical to eat in grand banquet fashion, especially on Shabbat, which is Friday night at sunset.
Simply put, to the Jews, Good Friday, is just another Friday, which is always good, right?
Hoppy Easter everyone!