And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, since You our God have punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us such deliverance as this, should we again break Your commandments, and join in marriage with the people committing these abominations? Would You not be angry with us until You had consumed us, so that there would be no remnant or survivor? O LORD God of Israel, You are righteous, for we are left as a remnant, as it is this day. Here we are before You, in our guilt, though no one can stand before You because of this!" – Ezra 9v13-15
Guilty. What a hard word to hear. What dreaded words these are in a trial. ‘We find the defendant guilty.’
Ezra did not have to wait for a verdict. In prayer he stood before God and pled guilty to all the charges. He even acknowledged that God had not punished them enough for their sin. He could only go to God hat in hand and acknowledge the nations guilt and seek God’s forgiveness.
This guilt did not only apply to Judah. We read in Romans 3v19 – ‘Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.’
Guilty is the word that describes all men. No matter what our excuses or reasons or rationale or finger pointing we are the ones who are guilty.
There is no hope for our guilt. There is nothing mankind can do to satisfy the perfect and righteous Judge.
But the wonderful news is that Jesus Christ, the great Guiltless One, has paid the price for our guilt. Jesus stood in our place and took our guilt. He paid the penalty and took our sentence. Now, by faith in Him and His sacrifice we can stand before the Judge and hear ‘not guilty.’
No man can stand before God because of his guilty, but Jesus could and did and paid the penalty for our guilt.