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The Real Sinner's Prayer > Day 23

Scripture Reading: “Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation…” (Psalm 51:14) 


Many a sinner will find some solace in the fact that they, unlike David, are innocent of “bloodguiltiness.” Their sins may be profuse and profane, but at least they have never committed murder and shed innocent blood. 


Although it may come as quite a surprise, the Scripture teaches that no sinner is innocent of “bloodguiltiness.” In fact, like Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth, the hands of all humanity are stained with innocent blood. All of us had a hand in the most despicable deed of all time, for we are all equally guilty of shedding the innocent blood of Jesus Christ upon the cross of Calvary.


It was not the treachery of Judas, the condemnation of the Sanhedrin, Pilate’s order of execution, nor the Roman soldiers that nailed Jesus to the tree. Instead, it was your sin and mine, as well as “the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). We are responsible for the death of the Son of God. It was our sins and our sins alone that nailed Him to the cross. Much to our chagrin, our faces are to be found among the bloodthirsty throng and our voices heard among the clamoring crowd that cried, “His blood be upon us and on our children” (Matthew 27:25). 


Irony of ironies is found in the fact that our most notorious crime serves as the very means by which God has provided our salvation. By willingly offering Himself as the victim of our sins, Christ has provided us victory over our sins. His condemnation is the means of our justification and His death at our hands has brought into our fallen world the gift of God, which is eternal life.


“I see the crowd in Pilate's hall,

their furious cries I hear;

their shouts of ‘Crucify!’ appall,

their curses fill my ear.

And of that shouting multitude

I feel that I am one,

and in that din of voices rude

I recognize my own.


I see the scourgers tear the flesh

of God's beloved Son;

and as they smite I feel afresh

that of them, I am one.

Around the Cross the throng I see

that mock the Sufferer's groan,

yet still my voice it seems to be,

as if I mocked alone.


'Twas I that shed that sacred Blood,

I nailed him to the Tree,

I crucified the Christ of God,

I joined the mockery.

Yet not the less that Blood avails

to cleanse me from sin,

and not the less that Cross prevails

to give me peace within.” (Horatius Bonar)

Don Walton