Though we know Christ, we may believe we have to work hard to make ourselves good enough for God. But rules and rituals have not cleansed people’s hearts. By the blood of Je¬sus,(1) we have our conscience cleansed. (2) we are freed from death’s sting and can live to serve God. (3) we are freed from sin’s power.
If we are carrying a load of guilt because we are finding that we cannot be good enough for God, take another look at our Lord Je¬sus’ death and what it means to us. Christ can heal our conscience and deliver us from the frustration of trying to earn God’s favour. Let us bring our guilt-ridden life to Christ, confess our inability to clean up our conscience and ask him to forgive us. Thank him for his deliverance. because God can forgive us and clear our record. When the people sacrificed animals, God considered the people’s faith and obedience, cleansed them from sin, and made them cer¬emonially acceptable according to Old Testament law. But Christ’s sacrifice transforms our lives and hearts and makes us clean on the inside. His sacrifice is infinitely more effective than animal sacrifices.
No barrier of sin or weakness on our part can stifle his forgiveness. Sinful deeds are more than just wrong actions; ironically, these also include our attempts to reach God by being good enough! Our new culture glorifies self-effort and personal achievement. It defines a successful person as one who obtains certain goals: financial secu¬rity, health and fitness, and the respect of others. But here the Bible gives us a different picture of successful living: we need to accept Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin, abandon the futility of sinful deeds, and let the blood of Christ purify our consciences. In today’s Gospel proclamation, with the crowds pressing in on him, our Lord Jesus did not even take time to eat. Because of this, his friends and family came to take charge of him, thinking he had gone “over the edge” as a religious fanatic. They were concerned for him, but they missed the point of his ministry. He was the Son of God and He had come to bring salvation to us.
Prayer: Abba Father, thank you for your amazing grace that saves wretched people like us. Amen