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Unit: Spiritual Disciplines
Category: Walking with Jesus

Everyone knows what it means to confess. That’s when you admit what you did wrong. And it usually includes being sorry. Right? Well, yes, but it turns out confession is a lot more than that, too. In the Hebrew, the word used is yadah, meaning “direction,” or, more literally, “to use or hold out the hand.” It also includes things like cast, shoot, praise and making confession or thanksgiving. In particular, this term is used in descriptions of the sacrificial offerings. The penitent is to lay hands on the head of the animal and yadah his sins. It seems as if confessing might mean casting away our sins, which seems very desirable, and may be our devout wish. But might it also include the idea of first opening the hand rather than hiding the sins, then holding the sinful hand open, truly acknowledging or “owning” the sin? The root word is yad, which means “hand” and also “power.”

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