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

Mark Altrogge

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.