“Not Guilty Anymore”
So, here we are, carried to the table by the Father. He loved us enough to show us mercy–to spare us from the wrath we deserve. He even loved us enough to show us grace–to give us a wealth that we do not deserve! Yet, it is possible, even probable, that something remains. Something that keeps us from enjoying the fellowship that has been given to us. Guilt. We were guilty. That’s why we needed His mercy, love, and grace. And that guilt can be overwhelming. We can sit at the Lord’s table, participating in the Lord’s Supper, yet be so far away because of our guilt. Lord, I really appreciate all this. I love that You brought me in. I’m so glad You love me. It’s more than I could ask for… In fact, that’s the problem. I didn’t ask for this. I don’t deserve this. You know what I’ve done. And the guilt weighs down so that the very fellowship we’ve been blessed with becomes a burden. We feel guilty.
That’s where this song comes in. Over and over again, this song has punched me in the face with the truth: I am not guilty. I was guilty, but because of Jesus Christ, I am no longer guilty.
You’re not guilty anymore. / You’re not filthy anymore. / I love you. Mercy is yours. / You’re not broken anymore. / You’re not captive anymore. / I love you. Mercy is yours. / You are spotless. / You are holy. / You are faultless. / You are whole. / You are righteous. / You are blameless. / You are pardoned. / You are Mine.
I can sit at the Lord’s table, perfect, holy, beloved. There is no question in my mind that this is one of the greatest blessings the Lord gives to us (next to salvation). The Lord, the Lord, is mighty to save. The Lord, the Lord, reconciles us to Him. The Lord, the Lord God Almighty, removes our sin and takes the guilt with it.
I once heard a pastor explain guilt this way: It’s like laying our sins down at the foot of the cross, clinging to Jesus, and then reaching out for that one sin… not to partake of it again, but to relive our shame. It’s as if we’re saying to Jesus, “I know You took this, but I just can’t let You do that. It’s too awful. I can’t let You suffer on my account, not for this!” Maybe guilt comes out of a greater knowledge of our sin, of knowing that for Christ–completely perfect, wholly God and wholly man–to even look at our sin is repulsive. Maybe we can’t bear to think of Him bearing that sin. It’s just too much.
But the truth is this: Jesus Christ already died for that sin and for that guilt. Taking it back doesn’t undo the past. He took our sins willingly. We cannot save ourselves. We cannot bear the weight of that sin. We cannot endure the shame for another moment. Though we want to hold that shame, cling to that guilt, it is destroying us. Jesus Christ died once for all. He died for every sin we committed. Now we must trust. We must let go of the sin and the guilt. Jesus accepted the guilt and shame when He took on the sin.
Once we throw our trust on Him, we are guiltless, blameless, whole, pardoned, and His. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8: 1).
I am in Christ Jesus, and there is no more guilt for me. What more can I ask for? What more do I need?