March 29, 2024

Holy Week: The Death of Sin

A devotional for Good Friday

by Emily Smith


Matthew 27:45-50

The Death of Sin

The day Jesus died marked forever on our calendars as “good”.

Good? The entire Bible leads up to this King Jesus, and then the day He hangs and dies on a cross is memorialized as good?

Surely we see goodness in Easter Sunday, goodness in the Resurrection, goodness in the power of God over sin and grave on display. This is what we celebrate! This is what we sing about!

But, before we reach the third day, before we witness the risen Christ, before the grave is empty and before the stone is rolled away, Jesus is dead. Three deliberate days of waiting. A prolonged pause, where the only place for us to look is to a tomb that is not yet empty.

What does this occupied tomb have to tell us—especially as we look back knowing the whole story, how it all played out and how Jesus, as promised, rose from the grave? Why dwell upon the dying day when you know about the Resurrection day?

The goodness of Good Friday’s death is the death of our sin through Christ. It is in looking at that filled grave, and in pausing on those three days of darkness, that we remember the true state of our sin: dead.

Galatians 5:24 says, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” The death of Christ frees us to proclaim our sin as dead according to the reality that Christ really did put it to death. What died for eternity on that ancient first Good Friday was not Christ—it was sin. We dwell for a time on this occupied Cross and on this filled grave to remember where our sin remains, and more importantly, where Jesus does not.

Prayer Prompt

Spend a moment today with Jesus to think and pray through what it meant for Him to hang on a cross and occupy a grave for three days. What sin or shame might you still be holding onto that He already died for? Worship Him today with a repentant heart and a thankful spirit while you reflect on the goodness of the death that came before the Resurrection.

Jesus, thank You for the death You died on the cross, and for going to the grave so I didn’t have to. Convict me of my sin and humble my heart as I look at the death You died on my behalf. Create in me a clean heart as I declare my sin to be dead because You made it so. Amen.

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