…you sometimes hear people…saying something to this effect: ‘You know, we have to keep going back to Calvary’; and they draw this picture of the Christian life as a journey. You start at Calvary, and you walk in the fellowship, then you sin, and you have to go back to Calvary. No, you do not go back; in a sense Calvary is always accompanying you. You do not go back in your Christian life; if you fall into sin, you confess it and go on. It is the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses, and Calvary is something that accompanies us in the grace and mercy of God. It is exactly like the picture which the Apostle Paul draws in 1 Corinthians 10:4, when he talks about the rock that followed the ancient people in the wilderness. That rock was Christ, he says. [Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Life in Christ: Studies in 1 John, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2002), 132.]
You do not go back in your Christian life
If you know Jesus you will not always be following him in every action of your hands and attitude of your heart, but Jesus if following you. And not just that. He’s always with you (Mt. 28:20). Even more, he’s in you (Jn. 17:26).
Our hope in following Jesus is that he is following us. His once-for-all work at Calvary is not something we come and go from. We were crucified with him there. Therefore when you’ve sinnned, don’t put more confidence in your sin than Jesus. You can “have confidence”–right now! right after sinning–“to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus” (Heb. 10:19).
Penance moves backward. Faith moves forward. Don’t go back!