Roseau Times-Region - Serving Roseau County for over 100 Years - The Official Roseau County Newspaper

A Few Tears Of My Own

 

August 20, 2022

Pastor Joe Elick 1940 - 2021

10-4-92

Do you ever do things that make you feel guilty? Why do you think you feel that way? What do you do about it? Guilt and the feelings which accompany it are no respecter of persons and there are just lots of ways we attempt to deal with our guilt. I still remember back to when I was a small child and those rascally days when I would let my sinful nature out for a romp around the house. Sometimes I would bring my mother to tears. And then she'd get out the yard stick and help me work up a few tears of my own.

I always felt so guilty afterwards. How do little kids deal with their guilt? A peace offering, that's it. A present. So I'd go to the kitchen drawers, pull out three or four nice pieces of silverware and try and wrap them up as a present for "Mom." The problem was that I never was, and am still not, a proficient wrapper so I'd have to get her to help me. When she was finished I would say, "Open it up Mommy, it's a present for you!" Now that may sound amusing, but even little people experience guilt and want to do something about it. How do you deal with guilt? Guilt, like the "unwanted gift" of physical pain is a warning signal that something's not right in the world..something that filters down to our own hearts. Something inescapable. David wrote in Psalm 51: "For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge" (Psalm 51: 3,4).

David identified that thing that is wrong in the world as sin, and that all sin is ultimately against God and God will judge all sin. In that somewhat difficult to follow Scripture in Romans 7 the apostle Paul writes near the end of the chapter; "So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me..." (Romans 7:21).

Abraham Heschel, in his book, "Man's Quest For God", writes: "The soul is clean, but within it resides a power for evil, 'a strange god'; that seeks constantly to get the upper hand over man and kill him..." (p. 98).

This is our story: Sinners by nature and sinners by practice. What are we to do? Is there a "way of escape" from the guilt, death and judgement that sin brings upon us? The Bible says the answer is found in that liquid of life which flows through the veins. But not just any blood. Only the blood of Jesus has the power to turn away the wrath and judgement of God and wash away our sins.

Hebrews 9: 11-15

Our text begins, "When Christ came.." We cannot successfully deal with sin without introducing Christ into the picture. The teaching of the book of Hebrews is built upon the foundation of the Old Testament and Tabernacle worship. In a nutshell what the author of Hebrews is saying is that you cannot deal with sin without Christ. All of our own attempts to deal with our sins fall short of satisfying God. That's why Christ came.

But how has He come among us? As our "High Priest" (Our Representative before the Father). As the Sacrifice or atonement for our sins. Verse 12 says: "He did not enter by means another sacrifice; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood..."

The "Most Holy Place" is Heaven, "the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made..." After spilling his life-blood upon the sands at the foot of the Cross, He cried out, just before He died: "It Is Finished."

It was Christ's "reporting in" from the Cross. In those 3 Words Jesus set into operation; "the good things" His Shed Blood provided: Our Eternal redemption (verse 12). What Jesus did for us. A cleansed conscience (verse 14). What Jesus wants to do in us.

A freeing up of our hearts from "acts that lead to death; (verse 14) so "we may serve the living God." What Jesus wants to do through us. A "promised eternal inheritance" (verse 15). What Jesus is preparing for us (See John 14: 1-3).

Conclusion: The story of our sin and God's redemption is in the blood of Jesus. Jesus' shed blood on the cross points out the seriousness of sin and the total adequacy of Jesus' sacrifice for our salvation.

How do you attempt to deal with the guilt of your own sin, both the feeling and the penalty? Do you really believe there'll come a day when God will call you to account? He will. Are you planning to be your own defense attorney? Why not let Jesus handle your case. He's already made arrangements for your pardon. The story's in the blood!

Until next time,

Pastor Joe

 

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