And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (1 Peter 1:17-19)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Before God, no one is guiltless. Everybody is guilty, especially those who do good works imagining that in this way they can escape from the causes of their guilt. No one can rescue himself from guilt. Therefore blessed are those whom God forgives freely by grace, not those who are sinless or believe they can work their way out of guilt. But who are they?
No one is sinless. Even though we may not see sin at work in us or we try to cover it up so others can’t see it, God clearly sees it. Your whole history is in a strand of your hair. The details of your fingernails explain you. The lining of your stomach is a document. The calluses on your hand tell all your secrets. Your teeth give you away. Your accent. The wrinkles around your mouth and eyes. Everything you do shows your hand. You are a sinner. A hopeless case. Things will never get better for you. On your own you’re unable to desire or pursue what God calls “good.” There is only One who is good: God. There is only One whose work is good: Jesus Christ. He alone is God—good and righteous and loving.
Blessed are you then when God covers your sin by the blood of the Lamb. He doesn’t see, doesn’t remember, doesn’t want to know about your sin now, but completely forgives by grace. You don’t cover, forgive, or forget your sins. You look at, recognize, remember, and judge them for what they are: the things that you fear, love, and trust more than God. You understand the truth about the things we consider the very best in ourselves: that these are the things God considers most damnable. So you bring them to Him. You don’t hide and cover your sin. You confess it and God covers and washes it away with the precious blood of Christ. By His blood God forgives you and makes you acceptable to Him. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
But Christ, the heavenly Lamb, Takes all our sins away; A sacrifice of nobler name and richer blood than they. (Not All the Blood of Beasts, LSB 431:2)