Cockroaches, Guilt and the Gospel

I once shared an apartment with 50,000 cockroaches.

I’d come into a dark room and turn on the light, and there’d be a few blinking up at me, stunned and offended at my insensitivity, then they’d scatter helter-skelter beneath the bed or the radiator.

You couldn’t really get rid of them.  If you sprayed, they’d vacation for a couple days next door, then migrate back.  I developed a “cockroach consciousness.”  Even when I couldn’t see them, I knew they were there, waiting to come out and frolic again as soon as I doused the light.

Guilt is like those cockroaches.  It hangs around.  It haunts.

So we must battle guilt with this truth: Jesus not only bore our sins, he bore them AWAY.

John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God who TAKES AWAY the sin of the world.”  He doesn’t just sweep sin under the rug, he takes it away.

An Old Testament Israelite would lay his hands on the head of a “scapegoat,” symbolically transferring his sins onto the animal, then he’d banish it to the desert, never to be seen again.  But God literally laid our sins on Jesus, and banished them from us forever.

As far as the east is from the west, so far does he REMOVE our transgressions from us.

On Calvary, Jesus loaded our offenses onto his mighty shoulders and carried them an infinite distance from us.

Sometimes its good for us to recall our past sins, not to dredge up feelings of guilt, but to enflame gratitude in our hearts.  Think of the mountains of sin, whole mountain ranges of sin and guilt, that Jesus’ blood removed from you.  Gone.  Forever. If just my sins were written on paper, they would have filled acres of storage barns.  But every last record of my debt was nailed to the cross.  How grateful this makes me!

Recall the vastness of your sins to provoke praise for the vastness of God’s mercy to you. But be sure to shine the light of the gospel on the condemning cockroaches of guilt.

photo by razordu30

Comments

  1. Wendy says

    That is such a good visual. I definitely have a tendency toward guilt and it acts much like the cockroaches. It will start small, maybe one or two, but it will slowly grow. Shining the light of the gospel on the cockroaches of guilt will make them scatter. Thank you again for another helpful reminder.

  2. says

    wow mark, thanks. that is so helpful. i love the truth that is expressed through the picture of the scapegoat. its been really helpful to remember that as I look back at my past sins and my heart wants to filter it through guilt and shame.

    i’m so glad that God didn’t merely push my sins under the rug, but instead He got rid of them. that really is encouraging. Romans 6 and 8 have been helpful in remembering that my sins were buried with Christ and I was raised with Him to walk in a new life. now, in Christ, there is no condemnation!

    thanks for this reminder. hope you have a good day!

  3. Megan Liz says

    “On Calvary, Jesus loaded our offenses onto his mighty shoulders and carried them an infinite distance from us.”

    I love that! I remember how thrilled I was when I first learned what the distance is from east to west. It’s forever.

  4. says

    Hey Emily,

    Thanks for your encouraging comments! I too am so grateful that in Christ there is NO condemnation. What a freeing truth!

    Hey Rachael,

    I’m so grateful I don’t have cockroaches where I live now. One time back in my cockroach apartment, I was sitting on the floor in my living room and a cockroach ran directly toward me from under the radiator and had it’s wings cocked up as if to directly challenge me! Talk about scary…

    Hey Megan,

    The distance from east to west – it’s forever. I like that! Thanks!

  5. Kay says

    Mark:

    Wow, thanks my brother!
    Coakroaches =ugliness, filth, disease, disgusting.
    Sin= ugliness, filth, disease, disgusting.

    The Son (Jesus) is the light of the world
    The Sun is the light of the world

    Where does the sun rise?
    Where does the sun set?

    As far as the east is from the west!

    I can not look at the glory of the sun rising or setting without thinking of my Jesus and how glorious he is.

    Thanks for the message last Sunday as well. You have no idea how timely it was.

    Peace be on you!

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>