The repenting heart

This picture shows us the heart-condition of a really repentant sinner. He now sees the greatness and awfulness of his many sins for which Jesus died on the cross. As he sees the cross which the angel, the Word of God, shows to him, it breaks his now sorry heart, and he is moved with deep, heartfelt regret and sorrow over his many sins. As he sees the great love of God expressed in Christ Jesus, this love melts his heart, especially as he begins to realise that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to take away his many sins, as He was willing to die in his place on the cross.

The fact that Jesus was whipped, crowned with thorns, had nails driven through His hands and feet and died on a cross for our sins, is brought home clearly and deeply to the repenting sinner, com pletely changing his heart and life. As he reads God’s Word in which he can see himself as in a mirror, he realises more and more how far he has turned away from God and disobeyed His com mands. He is overcome with feelings of great sadness and sorrow, and as he pours out his heart before God with tears and bitter crying, Jesus draws near to him. The love and peace of God enter his heart as he begins to realise that “the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from every sin” (1 John 1:7). “Create a pure heart in me, O God, and put a new and loyal spirit in me” (Psalm 51:10). Again God’s Word says, “I am pleased with those who are humble and repentant, who fear me and obey me” (Isa. 66:2). The Holy Spirit makes the words of Jesus clear to him, “Courage, my son (daugh ter)! Your sins are forgiven” (Matt. 9:2). While he still looks to the cross and to the blood of Jesus which was poured out on the cross, believing that it was all done for him, he begins to realise that the load of sin has been taken away, for Jesus has endured the suffering that should have been ours; that “because of our sins He was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did,” that “the Lord made the punishment fall on Him” (Isaiah 53).

The Holy Spirit and the love of God take control of the purified heart. As he believes in Jesus, he realises that his sins have been forgiven, and so he finds the assurance in his heart that the blood of Jesus, the Son of God, has purified him from all sin (1 John 1:7). He is now sure that everyone who believes in Jesus will not die (spiritually), but will have eternal live (John 3:16). “For by the sacrificial death of Christ we are set free, that is, our sins are forgiven” (Eph. 1:7). The sinful desires of the human nature have now given place to a deep desire to live for God and to serve Him “who first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Instead of loving the world and the things of the world, he loves God and the things of God.

In this picture therefore, we find that the animals which repre sent sin, are now outside his heart, although Satan does not want to leave his former home, looking back and hoping to find an entrance once more. That is why the Lord Jesus warns us to keep watch and pray; to resist the devil so that he will run away from us (James 4:7).