One Cursed, another Redeemed – How emotional response is not always a sign of repentance

Often in the church, we see people having some sort of emotional response of tears. From my experience, most of the time this is triggered by a song that was just sung, though in some cases it may even be the sermon that was delivered if by any chance it was a convicting message that I believe must be in the pulpit.

When we look into the scriptures, there is a lot of emotional response to sin and the Lord’s judgments. But this does not always mean repentance.

In my last post, I briefly spoke about the unforgivable sin. This is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. In Matthew 12:30-32, it has already been about 2 years into Jesus’ ministry. He has produced more than enough evidence to affirm He is the Messiah. Yet the religious elites are so bold to accuse Him of doing His work by the hands of Beelzebul. The truth of the matter, with all the evidence before them, no possible way to deny Jesus diety, they did so. Accusing the Holy Spirit of being none other than a demon, most likely right to His face too.

The reason their sin is unforgivable is just that. They have had more than enough evidence yet they deny the truth. Jesus accuses them of committing the only unforgivable sin in all of the cosmos. We know this because in this section Jesus says in verse 31 “every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven”. This goes to say that even a sin of betrayal of denial could be forgiven.

a.) Peter sinned against the Lord, denying ever knowing Him. Betrayal for the sake of his own life. Luke
b.) Juda sinned against the Lord, denying everything for the sake of His own wealth. He was wicked from the beginning.

Now both of these men had their part to play in the death of Jesus. Within their respective roles, both of them have sinned. Through this, we find that both of these men also had some sort of emotional response to their actions as well.

1.) Peter denied Jesus three times, then after the rooster crows. In the bible we see that Peter wept bitterly. the idea to weep (klaiō – mourn with great pain) bitterly (pikrōs – much grief) is actually two words. In the Greek, this denotes a strong sense of remorse, possibly similar to what Judas had felt as well.

2.) Judas we find in Matthew 27:3 that he had great remorse, confessing he has sinned against innocent blood. Metamelomai is the Greek usage of “to have remorse”. It is the idea that one realizes their sins and regrets them.

If both of these men had a strong emotional response, this shows nothing more than that they realized the severity of their sins.

As the narrative plays out, we later find how they chose to deal with their sins. Judas uses the “blood money” to purchase a field and hangs himself. While Peter repents (possibly internally) and is later restored by Jesus with the conversation “Peter do you love Me?”

I personally am conviced that if Judas would have stuck around just a few days, he too might have been able to be forgiven.

It is important, when we see another individual give some sort of emotional response for their sins, or perhaps we may go through this as well that we not confuse emotion for repentance. The Spirit is working in the individual yes, but have they, have you asked the Lord to forgive you for your sins against Him?

There is not a single sin we could possibly commit here on earth that can not be forgiven, rape, murder, lying, stealing, homosexuality, adultery etc. Every single sin you have committed has been against a Holy God. He is faithful to forgive us, all we have to do is come to Him in humility, recognizing our crime, repent and turn to the Almighty Lord and just like Peter, the Lord will too restore us into a right healthy relationship with Him.