The Anguish of Guilt
What do we do with our guilt? It torments sensitive souls, but Jesus Christ died that whoever believes in Him should be forgiven and cleansed of all guilt.
Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering for himself and shall make atonement for himself and for his house. Leviticus 16:6
And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. Matthew 27:5
If any single theme runs through these two readings today it is guilt, human guilt for sin. That theme runs through history since the first sin committed by the first created couple in the garden (Genesis 3).
In Leviticus the high priest must offer a sacrifice for his own sin before he can offer a sacrifice for the sin of the people. He is high priest, but he is as sinful and guilty as the rest of the rank and file. As we have been seeing, the Aaronic priesthood was imperfect and temporary. It pointed to a need for a better priesthood, one that would later be established by the Lord Jesus Christ. All of this will be even clearer when we get to the Epistle to the Hebrews.
The circumstances surrounding Judas’ betrayal and Jesus’ arrest and trial also reveal how the various parties showed the ravages of their guilt. Judas was tormented by the realization that he had betrayed an innocent man. He sought to rid himself of this guilt by returning the money he received. The chief priests and elders rejected his effort. He then hung himself.
Pilate and his wife agonized over the case before him and the phony accusations against Jesus. Pilate looked in vain for a way out. He seemed to finally be moved by the eager willingness of the crowd to accept any blame for this execution.
Think about it
Guilt tears apart the human soul, but if God is gracious to us His Spirit moves us beyond guilt to repentance and faith in the true High Priest who offered Himself for the sin of His people. In Him we find forgiveness (not through a diluting of our guilt but) through an offering that is so infinitely worthy it purchased redemption for every single one of God’s elect people (Ephesians 1:7-10).
Praise Him, my believing friend, for deliverance through Christ from not only the anguish of our guilt but the due consequences of all our sin.