This morning while running, I was listening to a sermon by the PCA campus minister at the University of Mississippi, named Jason Sterling. Yes..preachers listen to sermons too! We need the blessing of the ministry of the Word and this morning Jason blessed my soul. He was preaching on Jesus’ restoration of Peter after Peter denied Jesus (John 21 - Meeting Jesus in Your Failure), and as he preached, he showed me something beautiful that I just had to share with you. Jason pointed out the parallels between Peter’s denial of Jesus and his ensuing remorse over his sin, set alongside of Judas’ denial and ensuing remorse over his sin (see Matt 27:3-10). There were parallels, but there was also a striking difference. Judas did not know where to take his remorse, so it became a remorse that led to death. Peter, on the other hand, ran to Jesus, or as is more appropriately shown in John 21:7, he swam to Jesus. In turning to Jesus with his remorse, Peter repented and was then restored by Jesus.
It is a picture of the gospel that we all need, because we too will fail. We will sin, and there will be remorse. Remorse eats away at us, but remorse is not repentance. Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus, who offers restoration to all who truly come to him in faith. Friends, I don’t know where your heart is today, but I’m guessing many are struggling with remorse over some sin. Maybe it is sin that you never thought you were capable of…just like Judas and Peter. Turn to Jesus and find peace in him.