Good Friday??? Really??

Last week, the Christian world celebrated Good Friday and Easter.

I remember, growing up, learning about Good Friday and being rather annoyed at the name.  I mean, who calls a day celebrating torture "good"? I was in second or third grade, living in Ohio, and finally getting what Easter was supposed to represent.  I didn't like the name "Good Friday"  and I didn't think that the date for Easter should depend on the lunar cycle in relation to the spring equinox.

(Yes, I was that kind of kid.)

We attended a Grace Lutheran church, and I attended the "grown-up" services on Sunday, as opposed to the children's services.  I heard the sermons on why God doesn't answer prayers, what every holiday means, and how to be a good little sheeple.  But I vividly remember almost crying at how badly everyone treated Jesus, at the torture and pain he suffered, and at the loneliness of his death.  How bad he must have felt, being abandoned by everyone just because he was different?

I wonder, now, at the psychology behind these sermons.  Do the preachers try to invoke sympathy from people at Jesus' plight, using the emotion to cloud the illogic behind everything?  I want to believe no, but I also know how much time and effort over the centuries that the church put into crafting their words to get the greatest effect.