November 8, 2012

The Difference Between Peter and Judas' Sorrow

 

"And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, 'Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.' And he went out and wept bitterly ...." (Matthew 26:75)

"And he (Judas) threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself" (Matthew 27:5)

This is the story of two men and their sorrow. The first is Peter. The second is Judas.

Both men betrayed Christ. Both men let themselves down and the one they spent the previous three years of their life with. Both men were incredibly grief-stricken and sorrowful for what they had done.

But what we see is a small, but critical difference in the response of each man.

Peter’s sorrow was a godly sorrow. How do we know that? Because it led to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10) He was grief-stricken, but his sorrow caused him to move closer to Christ. Because of his willingness to be humbled, it did not destroy him.

Similarly, Judas was also grief-stricken by his actions in betraying Jesus. But, unlike Peter, Judas' grief separated him from Jesus and the love and forgiveness that he needed. Judas' sorrow was the “sorrow of the world that leads to death” (2 Corinthians 7:10).

When we fail Christ and even betray Him, like Peter or Judas, we have a choice to make in how we will respond. Sorrow is not enough. In our grief we need to humble ourselves and recognize our failing is an opportunity to return to the arms of Jesus.

The alternative is not worth considering.

Prayer: Father, thank you for forgiving us in our moments of sin when we fail you most. Help me Lord to see such moments as opportunities to embrace the humble, low road and be restored to right relationship with you. Thank you Lord, Amen

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