Guilt brings shame. All of us, probably, are acquainted with guilt. When I was a little girl and I wanted to buy some candies, I stealthily reached into the side pocket of my Papang’s (Papang means Papa or Dad in Filipino or Chabacano language) pants to get small coins. When successful, I would buy a candy or two. I would like to assume that other kids do this too. Don’t judge me too quickly. I did not develop the habit of stealing anything as I grew up. Well, those unflattering moments made me feel guilty. For sure, my Papang and Mamang did not care about the few coins and, now I am quite sure that back then they knew about my little secret no matter how much I tried to conceal it. Parents just knew! But knowing none of this as a child, the guilt made me feel afraid of my parents and also embrassed. I felt ashamed. It was a heavy feeling. It did not make me happy. This is one of my first encounters with guilt as far as I could remember. As years went by, there were more other things and bigger issues which made me guilty at several points in my life. Again, just to clear out some misconceptions, I have never stole anything in my entire life other than those few coins I got from my father. So, as I got older, I do experience guilt in a different level. Let us say, more serious ones.
We cannot get away entirely from guilt because as humans we naturally fall, err, and sin. When we make mistakes, we develop guilt. A healthy and normal person would feel guilt and shame for offenses or sins committed, unless, the person has a numbed conscience or is a psychopath. And to this, the Bible gives a bad news. The bad news is that all of us are guilty. We are all guilty of sin (Romans 3:23). All of us should be ashamed because our own righteousness which we try so hard to do to please God are like filthy rags before God (Isaiah 64:6). So, when Jesus carried our sins, imagine the guilt and shame Jesus endured. Go back to every detail of shame Jesus was put through. It was not His guilt. It was not His shame. It was not His sin. It was our sin and our guilt that brought shame to Jesus. But He was triumphant over shame and death.
“…looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”– Hebrews 12:2 (WEB)
There is freedom from guilt and shame. Oh such a precious liberty to be freed from guilt and shame. Imagine a person accused of a horrid crime and finally to be judged as “not guilty”. What a joy! Such a great relief. Such marvelous freedom.
Here is the good news. The Bible says that you and me, who are guilty of sin, no matter all the good deeds we try to do, can be judged as “not guilty”. Hurray! Isn’t that a great news? But how can that happen? It happened when Jesus gave up His own life for all sinners so that whoever believes in His name receives the free gift of eternal life (John 3:16, Romans 6:23). Does it end there? No. All who believe should leave their old life of sin and live in righteousness by obeying the Lord Jesus Christ. It is called repentance.
Jesus removes our guilt and set us free. But we are asked to repent and intentionally obey God. By repentance and obedience, shame that comes with guilt disappears. There is now no more condemnation in Christ Jesus.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who don’t walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”– Romans 8:1 (WEB)
Jesus set us free from sin and guilt and, by following Him, we need to walk daily in obedience. We need to walk daily according to the Spirit. Each day we live counts to God. One day, Jesus will come again. One day, we will meet Jesus face to face. When that day comes, only one thing will keep us bold and unashamed before Him. That is when we have remained in Jesus in all the days we have lived in the flesh. By walking daily in obedience to Jesus, we remain daily in God. Daily repentance is the key to remain in God.
“Now, little children, remain in him, that when he appears, we may have boldness and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.”– 1 John 2:28-29 (WEB)
When Jesus suddenly comes today, will you be bold and unashamed?