In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene—during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Forgiveness Brings Peace
Guilt is a terrible burden to bear. Maybe you stole a cookie from mom’s cookie jar. Maybe you nicked someone’s car in a parking lot but then drove off. Maybe there’s a dark secret that needs to be admitted to a spouse before a marriage splits at the seams. Guilt over sins we have committed can shatter any semblance of peace our hearts once held. Guilt keeps us awake at night and makes us not want to wake up in the morning. As painful as it is, admitting when we have been wrong is the first step in returning peace to our hearts.
This is what John the Baptist was preaching in the desert country around the Jordan River. He was preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. John’s whole purpose was getting people ready to meet their Savior, Jesus. The only way for them to be prepared to meet their Savior was to admit that they needed a Savior. When they did, John pointed them to Jesus and the forgiveness only he can provide.
The forgiveness Jesus brings is for you too. No sin is too big for Jesus to forgive. No guilt can overcome the victory Jesus won for you on the cross.
Admitting guilt and getting everything out in the open is very hard to do. It is especially hard to admit your guilt to the person whom you have wronged. But when you repent, you can rest assured that God has forgiven you, even if no one else will. God’s forgiveness brings peace.
Dear Lord, giver of peace, extend your forgiveness to me and rid my heart of guilt through the work of your Son, my Savior, Jesus. Amen.