Good Friday: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Elizabeth Hance

Elizabeth has taught elementary and middle school special education, and has a master's degree in reading education.

Good Friday might sound like a day to celebrate with good cheer, but it's actually one of the most solemn holidays in the Christian religion. This lesson will teach you more about Good Friday and the traditions associated with it.

What's so Great about Good Friday?

Good Friday is the Friday that comes before Easter Sunday in Christian religions. According to the Bible, the holy book that most Christian religions use, Good Friday was the day that Jesus was arrested and put to death by crucifixion, or hanging on a wooden cross.

This illustration shows Jesus as he dies on the cross

If Good Friday remembers the horrible death of Jesus, why is it called 'good'? There are some different opinions on the origins of the name, but most agree that in this case 'good' comes from an old meaning of the word and signifies that the day is very holy.

A Holy Week

Holy Week is the week beginning on Palm Sunday, and it actually ends right before Easter Sunday. It includes some of the most important days in Christian religions because these days honor and remember the core belief of Christians: that Jesus is the Son of God, he died, and then rose from the dead. Of these days, Good Friday is one of the darkest.

This picture shows Jesus and his mother after he is taken off the cross

According to the Bible, Good Friday was a very long day full of terrible acts. Jesus had been betrayed by a close friend earlier in the week, so Good Friday begins with Jesus's arrest. He is sentenced to die for claiming to be the Son of God. Jesus carries his own cross to a hill, where he is crucified alongside two criminals. The Bible says that Jesus was on the cross for six hours, and for the last three hours of his life, the sky turned completely dark. Finally, Jesus died and was placed in a tomb.

Good Friday Traditions

Christians from different religious traditions and different countries all celebrate Good Friday but in many different ways. Depending on the religion or the culture, a variety of traditions happen on this Friday before Easter.

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