Bad Friday

The repeated question over the Easter break from my nine-year-old, Benji was, ‘Why is it called Good Friday, not Bad Friday?

The origins of the name are uncertain but the bare facts of the ancient day were in and of themselves ‘bad’. But that something ‘bad’ happened to the divine; death and darkness overwhelmed God, is something I find theologically fascinating and also deeply reassuring and comforting on a personal level.

The year that my husband faced major brain surgery and the resulting loss of sight, health, job, home, status and a certain future was a ‘bad’ year with a capital B! But our personal lives were framed within a far larger, universal narrative with a divine author and protagonist. As I searched this faith, this meta narrative that I’d pinned my own life to, I saw afresh that within the core of the divine experience there was a devastating crisis, something Bad that had happened.

An earthly mission lost, the ‘superhero’ killed and a fledging movement halted, as God was killed at the hands of men. Knowing that God is not trapped in time and history, that his Bad Friday is forever born within his core in a sense, I knew that God knew what I was going through.

His Bad Friday framed my Bad year…. His Bad Friday was and still is a summing up of all of my bad moments. Bad Friday offers me indescribable meaning about global suffering. Bad Friday gives me solace and reassurance that if the Divine could walk through ultimate bad and not be held by it, then so can I.

Tom Olyott