Passover helps us remember that Jesus died so that we will be forgiven of our sins. However, in order for us to be forgiven, we need to humbly ask for forgiveness. God is more than willing to forgive our sins but we still need to do our part and that is to repent and change for the better.
The Passover is for baptized members who have repented of their sins and acknowledged Jesus Christ as their Savior. Repentance should be accompanied with sorrow and the will to overcome sin.
On the night before Christ’s death, a story of betrayal will help us learn the importance of godly sorrow. We need to understand this so that we will have the right kind of heart when we partake of the Passover.
The similarities of Peter and Judas
Both Peter and Judas were called to be Christ’s disciples. They were with Jesus Christ for more than three years. They have seen what Jesus can do. They have seen how Jesus miraculously healed the sick. They have seen Christ walked on water, calmed a roaring storm, raised the dead, fed thousands of people, and cast out demons. They have seen how Christ intelligently answered tricky questions. They are both taught by the very Son of God.
When Jesus was approaching His prophesied death, all of the Apostles left Him. Judas betrayed his master for thirty pieces of silver. On the other hand, Peter who previously filled with self-confidence and bravery has now lost his boldness and EMPHATICALLY denied Jesus Christ, not just once but three times.
Both of Peter and Judas felt great sorrow after the painful betrayal they have done. However, what happens after revealed the difference between the sorrow of Peter and Judas.
The difference between Peter and Judas
The name of Peter means a “small stone”. Judas, on the other hand, means “praised”. It is quite interesting how these two people differ in the meaning of their names. Today, Peter is seen to be a great saint that many parents name their son as Peter. However, you might not remember a person with the name Judas, though his name has a beautiful meaning. The name Peter has been related to courage and leadership while Judas has been linked to betrayal.
There is no doubt that Peter seems to be a more vocal person, earning him the spot of being a spokesman of the disciples. Judas could be a brilliant person and had worked his way to becoming the treasurer of the group. Of course, we know that the true intent of Judas is to steal money and use it for his own good.
The sorrow of Peter and Judas
When Peter and Judas betrayed Jesus, they felt great sorrow. This is where we can see the two types of sorrow.
Peter, who realized the betrayal that he had done, immediately wept bitterly. Matthew 26:75 tells us:
“And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ So he went out and WEPT BITTERLY.”
This is the same thing that had happened to Judas.
“Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’”
We can see that both felt great sorrow for betraying Christ. However, there is a great difference between their sorrows.
We will read later how Peter mightily transformed after receiving the Holy Spirit. From cowardice and weakness, he became one of boldest disciples who mightily preached the Gospel to the point of martyrdom. But Judas went and hanged himself. The book of acts added that he fell headlong, burst open, and all his entrails gushed out.
Both betrayed Christ. Nevertheless, one’s life tragically ended while the other became a martyr.
Godly sorrow versus worldly sorrow
We need to understand the difference between the godly sorrow and worldly sorrow. This is explained in I Corinthians 7:9-11 and I would suggest you read this passage. Let us examine this verse and see what type of sorrow we have as we approach the Passover.
- Verse 9 – this verse tells us that the sorrow we feel when we sin must lead to repentance. Peter has this kind of sorrow and he later repented of his sin. Judas sadly lost his sight to the great mercy of God that he took his own life.
- Verse 10 – this verse tells us that godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation and this must not be something that we should regret. In contrast, worldly sorrow produces death and this is what we have seen to Judas. If we don’t change our course, we will not just suffer physical death but also eternal death.
- Verse 11 – as a result of godly sorrow that led to repentance, we need to demonstrate its effect. We know that we have godly sorrow when we produced strong diligence and developed the vehement desire and intense zeal to stop sinning and start living a life pleasing to God.
What type of sorrow do you have?
When asking for forgiveness, we must have the faith that God will truly forgive our sins. As Psalm 103:12-13 tells us, “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
We have seen the motivation behind the actions of Peter and Judas. Both felt sorry about their sins but feeling sorry is NEVER enough. We must demonstrate the fruits worthy of repentance and this is what Jesus expects of us.
There is no denying that we will never be sinless during this lifetime. But this must NOT be an excuse. God expects us to live a life of overcoming sins. The Passover should remind us of the unimaginable magnitude of God’s mercy toward us. As this might be the case, God is at the same time, the God of justice. He will not tolerate anyone who continually mocks and not appreciates Jesus’ death and sacrifice for our sins.
Partaking of the Passover is an outward expression of our sorrow for the sins we commit, the repentance we have done, the confidence in God’s mercy, and the overwhelming desire to overcome sin. May we become a modern “Peter” and have the godly sorrow that will lead us to form a deeper and more intimate relationship with God!