Have you ever stopped to think about the difference between repentance and remorse? Both attitudes present themselves as a form of sadness. Repentance is a sadness because of the sin we committed that offended God. Remorse is a sadness because of the consequence of our sin.
Peter, one of Jesus’s disciples, denied Him 3 times and in Matthew 26:75 we see what happened when the rooster crowed. Jesus had told Peter this was going to happen.
“Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.”
We know that this deep sadness that Peter felt was repentance because he changed. We know that Peter became a great preacher and spent his life testifiyng to the Gospel.
Judas, the traitor, in Matthew 27:3-5 is filled with remorse. The sadness caused by remorse will lead to a bigger error: Judas killed himself.
When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. 4 “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” 5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
Repentance will always be accompanied by a change. Take Peter again. in Acts 3:19 he tells us to repent and turn back to God. Repentance is followed by turning back.
“19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord”
It is this profound sorrow that leads us to realize we are sinners and that our sin is offensive to God. When that happens, we know the only thing we can do is turn back to Him, to His cross and His sacrifice for us. In Him we find salvation and forgiveness.