Tears of Repentance and Forgiveness

Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.” Mark 14:72

As long as Peter lived, a fountain of tears began to flow whenever he remembered how he denied his Lord. It is not unlikely that it was so, for his sin was very great, and grace granted to him afterwards was even greater.

This same experience is common to all of God’s children, according to the degree the Holy Spirit has removed your natural heart of stone. We, like Peter, remember our boastful promises: “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.” (Matthew 26:33, NLT) We eat our own words with the bitter herbs of repentance. When we think of how we promised we would act, and how often in overt or subtle ways, we have denied our Lord, we may weep whole showers of grief.

Peter must have contemplated, at length, his denial of his Lord. The place in which he did it, the reasons that led him into such heinous sin, the lies and blasphemies he uttered, and the dreadful hardness of heart which drove him to do so again and yet again. How can we, when we are reminded of our misdeeds, and their exceeding sinfulness, remain indifferent and stubborn? Shouldn’t we repent of our sin, and cry to the Lord for renewed assurances of His pardoning love? May we never take a dry-eyed look at sin. Doing so threatens us on a dangerous and lonely path, with a tongue parched in the flames of hell.

But Peter must also have thought about his Master’s look of love. The Lord followed up the rooster’s warning voice with an cautioning look of sorrow, pity, and love. That glance was never out of Peter’s mind so long as he lived. It was far more effectual than ten thousand sermons would have been without the Holy Spirit. The regretful apostle would be sure to weep when he recollected the Savior’s full forgiveness, which restored him to his former place. (John 21:15-19)

To think that we have offended so kind and good a Lord is more than sufficient reason for being constant weepers, both out of sorrowful repentance and at the same time joyful, thankful forgiveness. Lord, smite our rocky hearts, and make the waters flow.

By Charles H Spurgeon
Used by Permission
Updated to modern English by Darren Hewer, 2009.

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Further Reading

•  Forgiveness – Yourself and  Others

•  The Power of Forgiveness | by Dr. Henry Brandt

•  Salvation Explained

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