Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Most siblings will have their ups and downs as they grow together, but he and his brother only had ups. It was the kind of relationship any parent would want their children to have. These kids just never fought or disagreed. They were not only brothers, but they were best friends. Through high school and college that connection only grew stronger. That is why everyone was shocked to learn that the demise of the younger brother’s marriage was the result of the older brother’s betrayal. Even years later after the wayward wife was gone from both their lives, the older brother never made an attempt to set things right with the younger. His guilt and shame convinced him that there was no way to repair that broken relationship.
Guilt is a cloud that projects a dark shadow which appears to be a great place to hide. It shields us from the light which exposes truth. People remain in that shadow for a host of reasons, but a very common reason is that they do not believe there is a remedy for their guilt. So many will spend their lives running away from God because they cannot face and admit their guilty feelings, and they think that there is no way God can wash away what they have done. Others will run to God for salvation only to spend time still hiding from him because of this sin or that sin. Still others will be completely transparent with the Lord but never confess their sins to the brethren out of that same guilt and shame.
The shadow of the cloud of guilt is spiritually crippling. It lies and tells us that some things are better left unexposed and unresolved. It convinces us that we are not worthy of being relieved of shame, that we deserve to remain in the miry clay. If we let it get a foothold, guilt will destroy our relationships and our self-esteem, our foundation and our identity. We must stomp out the work of guilt in our lives, because we cannot be free in Christ while remaining in the shadow of that cloud. Father, help us snuff out any guilt or shame we carry, and teach us what it means to walk in true spiritual freedom in Christ.