Monday, September 14, 2015

Washing Away Guilt - Martin Wiles

So he (Pilate) sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. Matthew 27:24 NLT

He’s only an animal, but some of his looks show he’s feeling a human emotion. 

I own a dog of necessity: a Chihuahua. By choice, I’ve owned quite a few as I was growing up. This particular one I own by necessity. He belonged to my daughter who moved into an apartment that doesn’t allow animals. She bought him while in college—and attending classes all day, so he was never fully house-trained. 

Since you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, he to this day has never been completely house-trained. Occasionally when I awake in the morning or come home after work, I’ll find surprises I shouldn’t on the floor. As I stare at him with my hands on my hips, he peers back with downcast eyes. He knows he’s guilty. 

Pilate thought washing his hands would remove his guilt. As the one the Jews brought Jesus to for conviction, he knew their motives: jealousy. He finally gave in, but he reminded them the guilt would rest on them, not him. To prove it, he washed his hands of the guilt of the entire mess—or so he thought.

Guilt can’t be washed away with water. Nor can it be scoured away by sacrificing an animal on an altar. The Jews discovered that after thousands of years of trying. 

When I feel true guilt over sins I’ve committed against God, there’s only one solution: take it to the throne of Jesus, confess it, repent of it, and walk away from it. 

The forgiveness God dispenses is based on what Jesus did on the cross. Repressing it, talking about it, reading about it, ignoring it, and denying it won’t make it go away. Guilt is God’s reminder I’ve sinned. Only he can cleanse me from a guilty conscience so I can serve him in freedom.

When you’re tempted to try and soothe your guilt in some other way, try confession.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the guilt free living we can experience through Jesus Christ. 

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