For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow, sprinkling those who are defiled, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of the Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 9:13-14
Any of us who have lived with a guilty conscience know the relentless nagging that isn’t easily silenced. There is only one cure for it – the blood of Christ. Yet, we try all other cures. I know really well of which I speak. I tried them all.
- I tried to just do better and not commit the same sin over again.
- I tried to not let guilt dominate my life. I drowned my shame with distractions.
- I tried to convince myself that I should make it up to God by performing better.
- I tried to pinpoint why I felt guilty but thought of nothing. Guilt persisted anyway.
- I soaked in the guilt of false accusations and believed other’s anger must be justified.
Feeling guilty can have so many roots and not all of them provide concrete evidence that there should be guilt. For instance, living with a blamer and developing an overly sensitive guilt trigger is one dynamic that produces false guilt. But the context of this scripture is to underscore the cure for a justifiably guilty conscience. Sin was committed and the bigger the offense, the more difficult it is to believe that God forgives and that’s that. By faith, I must believe that the blood of Christ has cleansed me of all sin. The past is forgiven and this day is a day permeated with God’s mercy. It’s a new clean slate.
Does a guilty conscience have anything to do with evangelism? Could it be that the person I’ve been sharing Christ with is impaired to see Jesus and believe because his own conscience has failed him? The answer is emphatically yes! As long as a person has not repented of his sin, the result is layers upon layers of deception. His conscience is in one of three states; unreliable, absent, or seared. Without the blood of Christ being pleaded for on his behalf, he will not be able to see his sin clearly. While ‘pleading the blood of Jesus’ yields many powerful results, the most astounding to me is the power of His blood to affect a skewed conscience, rectify its reasonings, and then cleanse it from all effects of deception. The reason we do it for someone else is to give him an opportunity to see his sin clearly – as God sees it – and then repent.
You may be one who feels guilty today but you actually are not. Or, you may be one who should feel guilty for something unrepented but you actually don’t. Consciences, in and of themselves, are not reliable rudders unless they have been cleansed by the blood and then are submitted to the mind of Christ. Only He can reveal our sin to us. The One who knows if we sinned is the One who shed the blood to forgive it. He is the total package.
You came to set the captive free. For any of us who are captive, in any way, to the self-condemnation of our own skewed conscience, speak to us and help us settle this matter today. Thank you for your shed blood. Amen