Genesis 43:16-18: Guilty conscience.

“16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, ‘Take these men to my house, slaughter an animal and prepare a meal; they are to eat with me at noon.’ 17 The man did as Joseph told him and took the men to Joseph’s house. 18 Now the men were frightened when they were taken to his house. They thought, ‘We were brought here because of the silver that was put back into our sacks the first time. He wants to attack us and overpower us and seize us as slaves and take our donkeys.’NIV

 

At every new turn the brothers were apprehensive. They were carrying a burden of guilt, and it was too heavy for them. It needed to be rolled away. They knew what they’d done and they lived in fear of the judgment of God. ‘’Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘’I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’’ – and you forgave the guilt of my sin’’ (Psalm 32:1-5)

It is a grievous thing to live with a guilty conscience. But no one has to. In the wonderfully graphic picture painted by ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’, a person may come to the Cross, and the burden will fall from his or her shoulders, roll down the hill and into the empty tomb.

’If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness’’ (1 John 1:8,9)