Looking unto Jesus and not at the amount of sorrow that our sins cause or at the amount of humiliation which they produce in us. If we are humiliated by them enough to no longer be complacent with ourselves, if we are troubled by them enough to make us look to Jesus so that He may deliver us from them, that is all He asks from us. An it is also this look which, more than anything else, will make our tears spring and our pride fall. And when we, like Peter, weep bitterly (Luke 22:62), then may our tear-dimmed eyes remain more than ever on Jesus. For even our repentance will become a snare to us if we blot out in some measure by our tears those sins which nothing can blot out except the blood of the Lamb of God.
There is a warning here against morbid self-introspection. Certainly the sins of our life do bring consequences, but reflecting on them does not usually help us. Earnest tears of repentance will come, not as we look at our sins but as we look at our sin bearer. When we see a suffering Savior loving us and dying for us we take the most accurate measure of the immensity of our sins. Remember, no amount of tears can wash our sins away. It is only as we come in true repentance that we find that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sins.
Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.
Our focus should no longer be on our sins, nor their consequences. Paul admonishes us to forget the past and press on as a runner to win the race and gain the prize that is in the Lord Jesus. When we run this race we should have no time to look back but only up unto our Blessed Lord.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9
…Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. I Peter 5:7
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Can We Pray? Almighty God, I remember this day my faults. I would recall that these sins would banish me to hell if it were not for the hell Christ bore for me on the cross. I acknowledge now that there is no more horrific picture of my sin than that which is portrayed in the death of Your Son. Here may I cling to Him and count all things under His blood. In the Name of Your Lamb, Jesus, my Savior, Amen.