Have you ever done something that you never thought you would? Like Judas, have you ever done something you never thought you could be forgiven for? Something that you are not proud of but ashamed of. Hours before Jesus’ death, two of the disciples betrayed Him. Judas betrayed Him with a kiss, and Peter denied Him three times in a few hours. Luke 22:54-60. The guilt that these men felt must have been tremendous. I can feel it for them. Judas’ guilt was so great that he tried to give back the silver and hung himself. Matthew 27:1-5. Peter felt so bad that he returned to his former occupation, a fisherman. Jesus had to convince him that he was forgiven by telling him three times to “feed my sheep.” Have you ever felt like you had an epic failure? Haven’t we all? This type of guilt brings us to one of two places: remorse or repentance.
Judas tried to return the money he made in betraying Jesus to the high priests. But giving the money back didn’t erase his guilt. It didn’t change that he had betrayed his Lord, an innocent man. His remorse and sorrow couldn’t heal him, and he took his own life.
Jesus wanted to use Peter as a shepherd of the flock because Peter, even though he made mistakes, still loved the Lord deeply. Peter wept and repented, and later Jesus reinstated Peter to watch over and feed His sheep. John 21:15-25.
2 Cor. 7:10 says, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”
Be encouraged; if Jesus can forgive Peter, there is hope for you and me. Let this story lead you to repentance and godly sorrow.
Today’s challenge: Reflect on your past sins and then praise God that He has forgiven you.