Many people carry the fear of being found out, of being rejected by others, in fear of judgment. These fears are all driven by the same thing: guilt. Today we need to close the door on our past in order to free us to move forward.
For our 40 days of Lent, our Sunday messages will focus on what Jesus said while He hung on the cross. You have probably thanked Jesus for what He did on the cross, but have you ever thanked Him for what He said on the cross?
SEVEN WORDS FROM THE CROSS
JESUS SPEAKS ABOUT FORGIVENESS: “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
Luke 23:27-37 A large crowd trailed behind, including many grief-stricken women. But Jesus turned and said to them,“Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children …. Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with Him. When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed Him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on His right and one on His left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if He is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers mocked Him, too, by offering Him a drink of sour wine. They called out to Him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”
WHAT WE USUALLY DO WITH GUILT
Psalm 32:3-5 When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
1. We Don’t Take Responsibility
Proverbs 19:3 People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord.
2. We Accuse and Excuse
WHAT JESUS WANTS US TO DO WITH GUILT
1. ADMIT IT
Proverbs 20:27 The Lord’s light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive.
2. ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR IT
Psalm 51:2-3 Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night.
James 5:16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
3. ASK FOR FORGIVENESS
1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through Him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.
Ephesians 1:7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins.