Tag Archives: Good Friday

The history of Easter: A basketful of illuminating articles

Belarusian Easter Eggs

Belarusian Easter eggs

Next time a friend or family member asks you (because you clearly are an erudite person, since you read this blog!), “Was Easter originally a pagan holiday?” or “Why eggs and bunnies?” or any other question about the history of Easter and Holy Week, you can point them toward these articles written by the editors of Christian History magazine:

How the Fast of Lent Gave Us Easter Eggs
Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Jesus, and Simon of Cyrene all appear in legends about eggs turning red.

Was Easter Borrowed from a Pagan Holiday?
The historical evidence contradicts this popular notion. Continue reading

The goodness of Good Friday: The oxymoron of an unhappy celebration

c. 1632

"Christ on the Cross," Diego Velazquez, c. 1632

Since the day is fast approaching–Good Friday, that is–I thought readers might appreciate this brief Christian History article I wrote on the subject:

What a supreme paradox. We now call the day Jesus was crucified, Good.

Many believe this name simply evolved—as language does. They point to the earlier designation, “God’s Friday,” as its root. (This seems a reasonable conjecture, given that “goodbye” evolved from “God be with you.”)

Whatever its origin, the current name of this holy day offers a fitting lesson to those of us who assume (as is easy to do) that “good” must mean “happy.” We find it hard to imagine a day marked by sadness as a good day. Continue reading