If you’ve lived into your teenage years, you have regrets. The definition of regret is “to be very sorry for.” We all have things we are “very sorry for.” Some are more costly than others. Some cause us to grimace, others bring us to tears.
Regrets are like an overdrawn checking account. Every time you think you’ve gotten the balance out of the red, another consequence, another ripple effect, another thought, puts you below the line. You sink into despair, wondering if you will ever get this charge off of your account?
in 1865, sitting in a choir loft with head bowed while her pastor was praying, Elvina Hall came to terms with her regrets–and ours too:
I hear the Savior say, thy strength indeed is small.
Child of weakness, watch and pray, find in me thine all in all.
Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain, he washed it white as snow.
For nothing good have I, whereby thy grace to claim.
I’ll wash my garments white, in the blood of Calvary’s lamb.
And now complete in Him, my robe, His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side, I am divinely blest.
Lord, now indeed I find, Thy pow’r, and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots, and melt the heart of stone.
When from my dying bed, my ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,” shall rend the vaulted skies.
And when before the throne I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down, all down at Jesus’ feet.
Good Friday is good because the only good man who ever lived took your regrets and nailed them to the cross. He didn’t pay part of your bill, he paid it all. He didn’t die for some of your sins, he died for all of them.
Grace forces you to feel the pain of your regrets, but never asks you to pay for them, because the price has already been paid by Jesus.—Paul David Tripp
If on this Good Friday you’re feeling the pain of your regrets, that’s grace. If you’re trying to pay the bill yourself, that’s impossible. Peter, who had a list of regrets, even denying he ever knew Jesus, later wrote:
He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:22-24, ESV, emphasis mine)
Take five and half minutes and listen to this song. Two minutes in I was in tears. Four minutes in I was covered with goose bumps. Good Friday is so so good.