Left to ourselves I don't think we're very good at repentance.
We don't get to prescribe how we "make the first move" in repentance. Voltaire said "God will forgive; it is His job." On the contrary, Jesus mentioned one rather large restriction in a prayer everybody probably knows. The law of Moses specified certain rules for showing repentance and for thanking or preparing yourself for God. There were more convenient things to do than going to the tabernacle/temple, and more dramatic things, and I gather the ancient Jews did both--baking cakes at home for the Queen of Heaven, or burning the odd child for Moloch.
"It is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins," but it was the prescribed work to show penitence and faith that God would find a way to forgive. He did.