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guilt

When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof, that you may not bring the guilt of blood upon your house, if anyone should fall from it."          Deuteronomy 22: 8   [Circa 1350 BC; "Deutero-"= second; "-nomy" = law]


 

Note the word "guilt" above. The parapet prescribed for flat roofs where people relaxed in the evenings in the Middle East was designed to avoid "guilt" when someone fell. 

Health & Safety Regulations in Jersey (and the UK) are often criticised - perhaps rightly - for being over-bureaucratic. But "guilt" when an accident occurs is something that is felt very deeply by the "guilty" party.

Some years ago, a tractor/trailer was slowly reversing out of a field in Trinity - but onto a main road. It was hit by a car in which a young girl was the front passenger. The young girl was irreparably damaged - but lives to this day. "Guilt" has not left either driver. Financial compensation was paid and the case is long closed - "guilt" is not closed, it only fades from memory. 

Somehow, perhaps because of its pain (for the guilty party), we dislike the concept of guilt and are trying to do away with it. Many people now found guilty in the Courts in Jersey and elsewhere seem to maintain their "Not Guilty" status to the press and public; surely they can't all be right?

And young children are actively discouraged from accepting "guilt" for their conduct; instead they are asked to consider the regrettable effect of their conduct on others..........."how would you like to have that done to you?"

There seem to be two ways in which we humans attempt to rid ourselves of our "guilt": first, we can deny it or replace it with something we feel is not so damaging to us; second, we can confess it and can be forgiven - truly forgiven.

Press releases in Jersey are invariably up-beat - something good is about to happen or has happened. There aren't any press releases of confession.

But there's more than one on the record in the Bible. 

Back around 1000 BC the Bible records the life story of King David - a shepherd boy from a humble family. As King he committed adultery and murdered the cuckolded husband, Uriah. He published his petition to Almighty God at the time, "... I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment." (Psalm 51: 3,4)  

Years later, King David wrote openly again, looking back on his guilt, "Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity and in whose spirit there is no deceit." This is accepted guilt and received forgiveness both being known deep within at one and the same time.

But what of the adulteress? Well, the child of the adultery died. But her next child was Solomon - King between 971 BC and 931 BC.

And, in the published genealogy of Jesus Christ, born AD 0, Jesus Christ is a descendant, yes, of Solomon – and Solomon noted clearly as David’s son  “by the wife of Uriah” – she was forgiven too.....

It's this Jesus Christ, son of David, who taught that he would die “as a ransom for many” and of whom Pilate the Roman Governor in Jerusalem in AD 33 said to the chief priests and the crowd, "I find no guilt in this man."

And in the Scriptures of King David's nation around 720 BC it was again on the record about a then future Christ that, "...he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed."

 
‘All men stand condemned, not by alien codes of ethics, but by their own, and all men therefore are conscious of guilt.' (C S Lewis, Writer of The Chronicles of Narnia, 1898-1963)
 
‘What man covers, God will uncover; what man uncovers, God will cover.'                  John Blanchard
 
Richard Syvret

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