In 1811 the US Treasury Department established the Conscience Fund for the purpose of receiving voluntary donations from people who had defrauded the US Government. By 1986, US$5.7 million had been contributed, consisting of contributions from the large to the very small. One person donated 9 cents for having reused a 3 cent stamp, while another sent in $40,000 in installments for having stolen $8,000. Interestingly, most of the money sent in is done so by ministers of religion, after receiving someone’s deathbed confession.
Guilt is something everyone of us carries around and if we do not deal with it, it ultimately crushes us. Left unchecked, guilt nags at our conscience, gnaws on our soul and condemns us for our failure, forever.
Deep within us all, there is a desire to be free from our guilt. To know what it means to be forgiven, to be set free from the weight of the past and to set aside this intolerable burden we have been carrying.
If this is you today, then I have some great news for you – you can be forgiven and set free from your guilt! The message of Jesus is that everyone of us can be forgiven of our sin when turn away from it and ask Him for forgiveness; the basis of it all is His death and resurrection.
It is for this reason Paul says, if Jesus did not rise, then those who have put their trust in Him have wasted their time – they are still guilty of their sins.
To put it really bluntly – No resurrection, no forgiveness!
This was a truth that had deep, personal implications for Paul. In his former life, he was guilty of imprisoning Christians unjustly, leading to the suffering and death of some. If Paul had not been forgiven, he would have carried his guilt forever.
But he was forgiven, he was free, because the risen Jesus had appeared to Him and radically transformed his life.
And you can know the same freedom from guilt and sin today by simply reaching out to Jesus and asking Him to forgive you.
This is real hope!
A prayer for you today: “Dear Jesus, please forgive me for my sin and take away all my guilt. Please come into my life and change it into something new! Amen.”