Lord Jesus, through Your suffering You have shown me the way to You. I bow in adoration and worship.
Read Mark 14:66-72
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Peter was in awe and dismay, realizing perhaps for the first time what Jesus meant when he spoke of saving one’s life and losing it, or losing one’s life but saving it” (N.T. Wright).
There’s a downward progression in Peter’s actions. He starts by the fire in the courtyard with a mild denial, he moves to the gateway, and he concludes with a denial accompanied by oaths. But before we are too hard on him, let’s remember that he was there, drawn by his love and determination to follow (Mark 14:27-31). Others had already deserted, but Peter didn’t. As the pressure builds, however, he cracks. Let’s remember, too, the times that we have failed; we had the best intentions, we loved Jesus, were determined to stand for him, but didn’t. The truth is that we can readily identify with Peter. The story of his failure can give us hope; we are not alone.
If all we can do is to share in failure, however, that’s small comfort. We need to see that there is a way back. The crowing cock is a mark of grace. Jesus had warned him, and had promised to be with him (Luke 22:31,32). As the sound breaks on his ear, Jesus’ words flood back and the enormity of his action bears down on him. His tears are the start of the way back that will be completed after the resurrection (16:7). Later he will be asked if he loves (John 21:15-21). At this point he knows already just how much he loves, and it breaks his heart. If we truly love Jesus, every failure will touch us. There will be pain as we struggle with our own weakness, but we can know that Christ will not desert us. If we have not wept over our sin and failure, perhaps we have yet to learn how to love as we should and perhaps we have yet to understand just how much we are loved.
Pause now to thank God for his love for you and to reaffirm your love for him.
Lord, it is truly amazing to see how great is Your love for me. Forgive my sins and failures; restore me to effectiveness for You.
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