TITLE: Half-Way Repentance
DATE: November 2, 2019
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: Matthew 27: 3-5 – ESV -Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus[a] was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” 5 And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself.
In the last century a farm wife was churning butter when a mouse fell into the tub of milk.
The butter wasn't tainted, but the wife just couldn’t get over the mental picture of the rodent doing the backstroke through the cream. Knowing she couldn’t stomach eating the stuff . and knowing she wasn’t going to throw all of that “good” butter away, she took the butter to the local general store.
She told the manager what had happened and asked him to trade his butter for hers.
She rationalized her request saying, "After all, nobody will know the difference. What you don't know won't hurt you."
Not wishing to lose a good customer the grocer took her butter into his cooler. There, in privacy, he spooned the farm lady’s butter into a new container. It was her original butter, disguised in a new wrapper, that he returned to her. He returned it to her with a smile and this explanation, ”Nope, what you don't know can't hurt you."
Her repentance had been what I call a “Half-way repentance.” She was truly sorry about the mouse in the butter, but she wasn't sorry enough to really fix things.
The same thing happened to Judas. He was sorry Jesus was going to die, and he truly regretted his involvement in the whole matter. But all of his sorrow never got him to the spot where his sorrow could fix things.
He never got to the point where he could ask his Savior for forgiveness. That’s tragic, because only the Triune God, because of the Savior’s sacrifice, could wipe his slate clean. Only the Lord, not the priests, could offer satisfaction for the terrible deed of betrayal.
If only Judas had followed Peter’s lead, and asked the Lord for mercy, he would have been freed from his traitorous sin.
And the same can be said about many contemporary souls who walk on Judas' path. They're sorry for their sins; but they never go to the one Person Who can really help them.
Their repentance is half-way. Which pleases the devil very much as he watches them suffer with guilt to pay for a sin which has already been taken care of by the cross of the Christ.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You know the sins of my heart. You know the sins I have tried to work off by myself. Today, help me realize that You, and not anything I do or don't do, will take that sin away. In Your love, I give thanks for the peace which You offer. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html
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