Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed (the crowd), “Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added. ~ Acts 2:14a-36-41
Why is it so hard to repent?
Peter says to do it. John the Baptist said to do it. Jesus said to do it.
It's more than saying "I'm sorry," although that's also pretty hard to say. How many times even in family squabbles was it hard for someone to apologize?
But repenting is a whole other thing.
Repenting is doing a 180. It's changing our minds, our hearts, our behavior.
It's knowing we were wrong and going about making it right.
It's St. Paul on the road to Damascus.
It's CS Lewis turning from atheism to God.
It's King David repenting from his sin with Bathsheba.
It's someone who has killed or injured someone in a DUI becoming a spokesperson about the dangers of drinking.
It's abandoning the belief that God is an angry man in the sky and living a life of love because of the revelation that God is love.
So, why is it so hard?
Is it because we like to be right? Because we don't want to believe that someone we trust was wrong? Because we are comfortable with the status quo? Because we did something we think is so terrible that we don't see coming back from it? Or because we don't want to believe that what we did was so terrible?
With repentance comes new life. And in this season of resurrection, new life is what it's all about! Imagine what new life for you might mean!
Holy God, repenting is hard. I know there are things I need to repent but cannot name. Open my eyes and heart that I might see and know the life you offer with repentance. Amen