“How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” Hebrews 9:14
Many years ago there was an Oprah Winfrey show in which a couple were interviewed about being riddled with guilt because they were gift recyclers. They had recently been married and with no time to go to the shops to buy a present for their best friend’s wedding, they wrapped up one of two water pitchers they had received at their wedding, and gave this to their friends. A week later they were out shopping and were mortified to discover that the pitcher they had given their best friends only cost $20. For several years they were niggled by a guilty conscience and when they received the opportunity to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show they used the occasion to confess their guilt, publicly apologize to their friends, and to give them another present. With, I might add, the till slip proving they had bought the present themselves!
Some people will go to any lengths for a clear conscience. Paralyzed by guilt they’ll pay anything or do anything to be set free. Down through the centuries people have done all manner of things in an effort to cleanse their conscience. Some have entered a monastery or nunnery. Others have starved themselves, mutilated themselves, or debased themselves in some way. Still others have thrown themselves into a regimen of good works. In extreme cases some have even taken their own lives.
But there’s nothing that anyone can do to clear the conscience. Adopting a religion won’t clear the conscience. Obeying the law won’t heal a guilty conscience. And even making a sacrifice to God won’t be good enough.
However, there is One who can give a person a clear conscience. The Lord Jesus Christ can take a person’s guilt and remove it as far as the east is from the west (cf. Psalm 103:12). Hebrews 9:14 tells how the blood of Christ cleanses a person’s conscience. Jesus has done what no man could ever do, nor will ever be able to do; He died for our sins and thereby cleansed once for all, everyone who places his or her trust in Him.
That’s the good news for today. You can bring your guilty conscience to the foot of the cross, ask for forgiveness, and Christ will set you free. There’s no need for you to continue being eaten up on the inside, having sleepless nights, or continue carrying accusations of past failures. If you’re struggling with a guilty conscience, you can turn to Jesus. Do that now – take it to Jesus and leave it with Him. For when you do, when you “draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith” (cf Hebrews 10:22), He will cleanse your heart from a guilty conscience.