Why Good Friday is Better than Good

Why Good Friday is More Than Good

Good Friday has always been the most confusing ‘holiday’.   Banks and the Post Office are open but the stock market is closed and has been every year except for two years since 1889.  Some businesses are closed and some school systems except in 12 states schools are open as usual.  Although when I wrote this story originally in 2019 in my current home state of North Carolina did not observe Good Friday.  Now they do.   Easter is a holiday that is observed, but for the kids in school who wished they were at home on Friday Easter Sunday does not provide a day off, thus for those not in the 12 states in their minds, Friday is not a holiday.   Apparently, in the good old USA, Good Friday is not so good.

About 55 years ago I asked my Catholic Mom why Good Friday was not a holiday (Ohio is not one of the 12 states); she said ‘because Jesus died on a Friday and it was a sad day, Easter is THE important day to remember.’    I said, but Mom, we don’t get a day off for Easter, why don’t they just give us Friday off, so we don’t have to go to school?  This went on for a while as I pleaded for her to let me stay home from school.  I asked why, why, why, when she finally blurted out ‘Because you need to learn to suffer like Jesus did!  Now shut up and get out the door before you miss the bus.’    According to my Mother, who seldom got irritated or mad, that is all I needed to know at that moment!

In researching the topic of why Good Friday and Easter are not considered one of the ten official federal holidays  the most common answer is congressional leaders sought to keep a separation of church and state in place.   Some say because Easter was on a Sunday, there was no sense in making it a federal holiday as it was always on a Sunday.  This seems like a logical explanation, but that does not explain why Christmas is a federal holiday.   Nor does it explain the fact that holidays like July 4th that could fall on a Sunday would roll over to the Monday.

In America where supposedly between 70 – 80% of the population professes some form of Christianity Good Friday and Easter are not considered no-work holidays.   Yet there are at least 127 countries   that close all government offices, schools, and banks.  Several of them consider it a 4-day weekend including India where only 2-3% of the population is Christian.

While I cannot explain WHY businesses and the government in the USA have chosen to ignore the significance of Good Friday, I previously did some research on a few amazing things to consider in regards to the not-so-important day in history.  5 years later even more amazing thoughts further prove Good Friday is a great day to remember and once again the #6 appears as a significant point in it all.  A little preview started with another average Joe question that starts with ‘why.’

The question I pondered for months was Why after being awake all night and then being tortured with a skin-ripping whip did Jesus have to stay hanging on a cross for SIX more hours before dying?  Why not make it a few minutes and get the hell over with quickly?   If you can bear to hear at least SIX more (since the original story was written 5 years ago) on details of WHY then keep on reading.  Otherwise, carry on like it is not important as much of the country I live in seems to treat this small letter as good friday.

Please don’t go away yet! Read below the red line for more. If this is your first time visiting Average Joe’s Portico, every post is written in two parts. You have just read the portion challenging the mind, body, and soul.  In or on The Portico (as in Solomon’s Portico or porch), I seek to tap into your spiritual side, but only IF YOU DARE.  If you are in a mood of ‘don’t shove God down my throat’, this part is not for you, it is your out. Otherwise, Keep reading past the Red Line Below and read Part 2  for the Spiritual side of this story (For an explanation of this creative writing attempt – read the ‘Do You Dare’ Tab)  _________________________________________________________________________________Someone once again recently criticized me saying I can be a bit irreverent of God when I ask the question Why seemingly often.  They went on to say it is nothing more than complaining.  There are many contradictory statements, and actions, made by people and words can be misconstrued.  But just as 100 Google searches could not reveal a solid answer as to why the USA has chosen to not set aside a special non-work day for either Good Friday or Easter, there are many good why answers. 

I believe God wants to reveal His love and wisdom in every possible way to show people that HE is always good and is always loving. While He has no reason to explain Himself to any of us (the pot questioning the clay maker comes to mind Romans 9)   Asking why when things are hard to understand to me is not irreverent, it is like a child asking a Father questions about things they do not understand.  I think OUR Father likes deep conversations. I think He goes out of His way to help every person on the face of the earth have opportunities to believe in Him.  I think He goes out of His way to use every possible angle to help us have faith in Him.  Likewise, there are those on earth and in the spirit world that want to destroy our faith.  It gives us reason to ask why, which as I said God will give us answers if we really want to hear answers and if we hang in there long enough for Him to answer them.  That was not an irreverent statement nor a joke.

In fact, Jesus Himself asked a Why question while hanging on the cross.   Matthew 27:45-46 translates some of the last known words Jesus said on the cross before dying; “At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 46 At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”   Jesus was quoting the very words that David had written in Psalm 22:1-2  “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?    Why are you so far away when I groan for help? “The words were by no means irreverent.  Jesus was actually reciting a most famous Psalm which is known as a song of praise.   I expound on the importance of Jesus’ last words turning us to what is arguably the most important Psalm out of the 150 Psalms written in the Bible.  After reading the rest of this story come back and read this story which explains the significance of Psalm 22.   If Jesus quoted that Psalm as His last words ALL of us should study every word of it deeply as it was obviously important enough for Him to say them in His last living hours.

In my life, many of the most intimate conversations I have had with the Lord have come during times of difficulties where I respectfully have asked the Lord Why did this happen?   A small one of those happened recently.  My wife was going through an illness which turned out to be double pneumonia.  She was forced to go to the hospital and Emergency room a few times.  Being a nurse or caretaker is nothing new to me but this one was dragging me down and painful to watch her suffer. Especially when it lasted 60+ days.

Backstory – My wife had literally decided to retire from her job, as a manager of a thrift store where all the proceeds go to a domestic violence center and survivors of sexual assault, the day before she became ill.  We both were involved in a rewarding yet mind-draining ministry.  We were making plans to sell our home, move out of town, and get a fresh start in the remaining years of our lives.  Although not thinking this directly, we kind of thought we deserved a break in life already.  If you have read any of my other blogs/mini-stories you’d hear a lot of amazing stories of both strife and triumphs. God has taken us through all of them hand in hand.   But, we were both tired.

Then in God’s usual pattern, after we spent some time house hunting and getting our house ready to sell, I was presented with a new opportunity. It was not anything earth changing yet the timing caught my attention.  I was given an opportunity to do some teaching which I don’t crave doing, but it does keep the blood flowing and the mind sharp, which is what I do desire always.

As I was preparing the teaching I noticed the date of the presentation was March 15, 2024.  It happens to be exactly 7 years after I had retired on March 15, 2017.  I study numbers in the Bible and 7 is a very significant number.  In the Bible, we know God created the earth in 6 days and rested on the 7th.  Jacob, also known as Israel, worked 7 years for the right to marry Rachel.  7 signifies completion or the end of a time period.

If that wasn’t enough for me, I heard from God, yeah, I know crazy, to go look at the date that we had moved to Charlotte, NC from Ohio.  The date was March 21, 2003.  2003 – 2024; 21 years total.  21 is considered to another period of time signifying the end of ‘distress’ and a sign of maturity or reaching a goal or destiny.  In our world today when a child turns 21 it is a big event celebrated by family and friends.  That guy Jacob if you read his story in Genesis 35 had to work another 7 years for Rachel after being fooled by a con-man named Laban.  He was forced to work for him for 20 years and finally was freed in the 21st year.    Anyway, for me it was an important answer to a why question in my life. It was enough to make us chuck the plans to move, at least for a while longer.

I share that story to open your eyes to another set of quiet yet loud details regarding the death of Jesus on Good Friday 2000+ years ago.  God is very meticulous in details, but sometimes you have to look carefully at those details to understand the whole story. 

Read on for a look at some more details relating to the #6. (Noting again, this is an add-on to the documentary released on Joe’s Portico titled ‘Six Reasons Good Friday was more than Good.

Luke chapter 23 covers the details of how Jesus was nailed to the cross at the modern era time 9:00 a.m. At noon the entire world became dark.  For the next three hours, it was completely dark until He died at 3:00 p.m.   For SIX long hours after being nearly beaten to death before those six hours He hung on a Cross suffering.  Yet He was singing praises to His Father from that cross.   Some sectors of Christianity stop all they are doing for just one of the 3-hour periods.  You can find many more details on those 6 hours here and in other documents.

Today’s Good Friday message goes further beyond what seems impossible to have even all those details of all Jesus did. God is a precise God and longs for all to come to the knowledge of the truth. I share some historical findings for more proof to boost the faith of those who believe already, and to help those who still doubt and have not discovered how God loves you so.


  1. Jesus died on the 6th day of the week, Good Friday.  Seems minor, but it is important.
  2. According to Genesis God created man on the 6th day.  We have to read further on in the creation story to know that the man’s name was Adam, the first man created was Adam and it was on Day 6.
  3. Jesus died in a place called Golgotha, which translated means ‘place of the skull.’  Would you believe that is the place where Adam’s skull is buried? – read the details later.
  4. Genesis was the beginning but, due to Adam’s sin, it created death or the end.  Good Friday on the 6th day was the re-Genesis when Christ died and then rose from the dead. Jesus came to remake us alive and free on the beautiful Friday of His crucifixion.  Anyone who begins a relationship with Jesus becomes a brand new person, thus the term born-again fits perfectly as do the eggs at Easter symbolizing a new birth.
  5. By being crucified above the skull of Adam Jesus Christ created our salvation through the water and blood that flowed from him through his pierced side and death onto the bones of Adam and the most wicked people in those times who were punished for their crimes.
  6. After Jesus’ death a stone was rolled away revealing the savior of the world was alive and through His death and resurrection, the sins of the world were rolled away too.       

I could not possibly prove or disprove what historians have debated for centuries but will provide some starting documents for those who desire to delve deeper. If you are one of those, please share your knowledge in the comments.

I start first with the world’s oldest Christian writings via my mother’s Catholic background.  Catholiccr.org provides detailed pros and cons that Golgotha     is the place where Adam’s skull was buried.  They begin with the Bible itself identifying where Jesus was crucified and then debate the ties to Adam;

All four Gospels record that Jesus was crucified at Golgotha, the “place of the skull” (Matt 27:33; Mark 15:22; Luke 23:33; John 19:17). The gospels give this enigmatic place-name, clearly well known, without comment or explanation. It is in Origen (185–254 CE) that we find the first textual witness that explains the “skull” as Adam’s.  In his commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, he claims that a certain “Hebrew” tradition tells that “The body of Adam, the first man, is buried there where Christ was crucified, so that ‘as in Adam all die, just so in Christ all shall be made alive’ (1 Cor 15:22).” Explaining the toponym “place of the skull” inspires a connection between the burial place of Adam, the first human being, and the place of the redemptive death of Jesus who “died for all humanity“.  

Their ending summarizes while the possibilities are endless, the overall is of utmost importance;

 “Mark Twain’s half-satirical instinct to reflect on Adam as a “distant relation” because it hints at the deeper truth communicated through the narrative and architecture of the Chapel of Adam. As witnessed by writings from Jerome, Epiphanius, and Basil, the tradition of Adam’s burial on Golgotha grows from the central conviction of the redemptive and vivifying power of the Crucifixion. Ultimately, the question of strict historical convergence of site and event is secondary in the Christian life to the fact of redemption accomplished by Christ and encountered in the liturgy: for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

BibleStudyTools.com goes into great historical details first proving that Jesus died and covers the high probability it was in the location of Golgotha based on the world’s renowned early historians; 

The Church Father, Origen (A.D. 185-253), both a Hebrew scholar and a resident of Jerusalem, relates Golgotha to the place where Adam’s skull was believed to be buried. If you think Origen is a little “off,” one might challenge your view by pointing to other leaders of the Early Church who believed that Jesus was crucified in the field of Adam’s burial. This number would include the respected Athanasius (A.D. 296-373), Epiphanies (A.D. 312-403), and Basil of Caesarea (A.D. 329-379).

1517.org which is a nonprofit organization that exists to declare and defend the Good News that we are forgiven and free on account of Christ alone further adds;

Adam, made on Friday, is remade on Friday, and we in him. Golgotha is the first Adam’s grave, over which the tree of the second Adam’s cross is erected.  As one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men,” (Rom 5:18). Good Friday’s good work is done by him who came to undo the work of sin and death.

This place is named Golgotha, “the place of the skull.” Most people think it derives its name from a rocky hill shaped like a skull. From ancient times, however, the church understood this as the place of Adam’s skull. His skull is at the foot of this new tree of life.”  Which is Jesus Christ resurrectedSee the whole article by 1517 here.

The Bible in Mark 15 describes the last moments of Jesus death on Golgotha and His burial;

33 When the sixth hour (noon) came, darkness covered the whole land until the ninth hour (3:00 p.m.). 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which is translated, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?

39 When the centurion, who was standing opposite Him, saw the way He breathed His last, being fully in control, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

44 Pilate wondered if He was dead by this time, only six hours after being crucified, and he summoned the centurion and asked him whether He was already dead. 45 And when he learned from the centurion that Jesus was in fact dead, he gave the body to Joseph.  46 So Joseph purchased a fine linen cloth and after taking Jesus down from the cross, he wrapped Him in the linen cloth and placed Him in a tomb which had been cut out of rock. Then he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses were [carefully] watching to see where He was laid.

1517 takes us from Golgotha to yet another remarkable detail orchestrated by God with a backstory  that is tied to another period of history when He had freed people from bondage, the days of Joshua;

On that day, the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” The Hebrew verb for “roll away” is galal which they named it Gilgal.  At this place of Rolling Away, through the circumcision of all the man who had not been previously circumcised, God rolled away all the stain and pain of his people’s slavery. Every vestige of their past captivity was gone.

 Gilgal, the Rolling Away place, was where God took away all their stain and pain and shame associated with their time in captivity.

At the place of the skull, Golgotha, what did God do for us in the new and greater Joshua, Jesus the Messiah? Vastly more than he did for Israel of old! He rolled away the reproach of all the stain, pain, shame, and sin of every individual of every nation under heaven for all time. As the one trespass of Adam led to condemnation for all men, so the one act of righteousness in Jesus, the second Adam, leads to justification and life for all men (Rom. 5:18). In fact, the ancient church understood Golgotha to be the place of Adam’s skull, that is, the place where Adam was buried.  Thus, according to tradition, Jesus was crucified right over the grave of Adam to give life to this first man—and all of us, the heirs of his sin and death.

We all know the part after Jesus died where the stone was rolled away revealing the empty tomb.  To me one of the biggest problems in our society today is people do not pay attention to details.  We are all so overwhelmed with information that is handed out in short chunks via memes, texts, social media ‘posts’, and short videos on TikTok and Instagram.  Christians are just as guilty of relying on single verses that leave out the full context of the whole Bible. If history repeats itself, very few people will open ANY of the links I have embedded in this document.  They contain boatloads of valuable information.  But, I know as the stats in WordPress tell me how many times links are opened. Will you do more than just glance through this doc or seek to validate what is written?

God has weaved such an amazing story of salvation written between Genesis and Revelation.  What Jesus did on Good Friday provides to those who believe (Do you?) in Him have been washed by His blood and sacrifice and will be with Him for all of eternity.  If you don’t believe it means you don’t want to be there. Whether laughing at this statement and all the others made or not, there are too many truths to deny it.  Where would you rather be, separated, or there on a glorious day when what is described in Revelations 5 states:

And I saw a strong angel, who shouted with a loud voice: “Who is worthy to break the seals on this scroll and open it?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll and read it.

Then I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it. But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders.

And they sang a new song with these words:

“You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it.
For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God.
    And they will reign on the earth.”

11 Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. 12 And they sang in a mighty chorus:

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered—     to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.” 13 And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea.

They sang: “Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever.”  14 And the four living beings said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped the Lamb.

Here on this Good Friday, I believe God is more than good!  And now you have Six more Reasons Good Friday was and is way more than Good!

One final suggestion for Good Friday – On this solemn yet ‘Good Friday’ perhaps you may want to place yourself in the place where Jesus paid for all of man’s sins so that we will not have to. This musical rendition titled ‘The Golgotha Experience is as close to being there emotionally as I have ever heard musically.

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