We are born guilty. From our earliest moment, we feel guilty. We feel this way because we are guilty. The Bible tells us that this is because of our father Adam. He sinned and we all sinned in him, both genetically and covenantally.
As if this wasn’t enough, we all prove our guilt by doing things for which we should feel guilty. This situation springs from another gift our father Adam left us—we are self-absorbed. We constantly, and pretty much only, care about what we care about. Therefore, lacking wisdom, we do all kinds of things that hurt others and eventually hurt ourselves. As someone once said, we do what we do, because we want what we want, and because we believe what we believe. Or as the Bible says, we have lust and do not have so we murder and covet, fight and war, all so that we can spend the booty on our desire for pleasure.
But to think that we are the center of everything just seems wrong. It’s wrong for you to say that you are the center and when I say it about myself, it’s just all wrong. But here we are, suffering, because we believe in our bones, that we deserve more.
It seems wrong because it is wrong. God has made the world in such a way that he is the center, and all of our attempts to keep him out always end in failure and frustration.
On the other hand, glory seems to be everywhere. We see spring flowers, spectacular sunsets and thunder storms. We see the stars on the clear summer nights, and don’t forget weddings everywhere we look. Glory is smeared all over the place and we are part of it. A huge part of it. So, somehow we should be involved in it.
In our lust to have it all right now, in our way, we’ve overshot God’s plans for our lives and we’ve sinned against the almighty God. We have removed ourselves from the party by our selfishness. How can we fix things? How can our guilt be removed? How can we be part of God’s creation in the right way? Can things be restored?
Well, not by us. We are guilty, we have tried to be god, when that position is already filled. We, by ourselves, are toast.
But God, when we were helpless, sent his only Son to stand in our place and take our punishment. He died on a cross, in our place, taking the punishment that should have been ours. We know this is true because when God raised Jesus from the dead, he did it to prove that he had accepted his sacrifice on our behalf. So, the price has been paid, the gift given. All that remains is for us to lay our self-serving desires at the foot of the cross, and ask God to let us back into his life.
So, as we sing “Along the Streams of Babylon, in Sadness,” think about these things and prepare your hearts to confess your sins.