“If, because of the one man’s trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.”
God gave us the ability to feel and experience many emotions, one of which is the feeling of guilt. Consider, for example, the transgressions of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The couple disobeyed God when they ate from the forbidden tree and soon began to feel guilty and ashamed. Because of this, they were burdened in their spirits and in their earthly existence throughout their lives. Their transgressions strained their relationship with God. The weight of their transgressions was even passed on to their offspring as well as many generations to come.
But God in God's infinite wisdom sent Jesus Christ to relieve us of the burden of carrying around that guilt. Unlike us frail humans, Jesus was able to obey God even to the point of death. But Christ got up from the grave and thereby bridged the gap between us and God. Hallelujah! What a Savior! We don’t have to be burdened with guilt anymore. Sometimes we do things that are wrong. Like Adam and Eve, we try to outthink God or maybe we experience a moment of weakness. Then we feel guilty and far away from God. But the guilty feeling may just serve as the reminder that we need God and can’t be happy without God in our lives.
As we travel the road to the cross with Jesus during the season of Lent, let us think about the amazing gift God has given us in his son, Jesus Christ. Let us reflect on how precious His son was to Him and how he sent Him to us to relieve our burdens. Doing so will allow us to forget about our guilt and free us to have a meaningful relationship with God. This wonderful relationship can surely propel us forward and compel us to love, help and forgive others. Knowing that we don’t have to stay bogged down in our guilt, but instead can stand up straight and move through life with joy in our hearts, will put a pep in our step and a bounce in our walk. And because this gift is one that is meant to be shared, let us remain committed to sharing this freedom with others as we do our mission work in places both near and far.
Stephanie Willett is the spiritual growth coordinator for the Baltimore-Washington Conference.