Read: Luke 22:54-71
Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly. Luke 22:61-62
Peter follows Jesus after His arrest right into the courtyard of the chief priest’s home where they are having their middle of the night trial for Jesus. After Peter’s declaration the night before that he would stand and die with Jesus, Jesus had predicted that Peter would deny him 3 times before morning, and of course Peter did.
There are two things in this passage that stand out to me. First is Peter’s response to his failure, to his letting Jesus down. It says in verse 62… “And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly.” Peter was brokenhearted over letting his friend and savior down.
He didn’t even realize what he was doing in the moment, but that rooster shook him to his senses and he realized what he had done. And he wept, he grieved, he broke on the inside.
The reality of life is that we will all have moments where, like Peter, we do the wrong thing. We let Jesus down, deny Him in word or deed, and may not even realize what we’re doing in the moment. But something will eventually shake us and wake us to our sin. So how do you respond then?
For many Christians, sin is just an accepted part of life and Jesus forgives us and we move on. In one respect this is good, because the enemy loves to accuse us and beat us up with our shortcomings, and use them to drive a wedge between us and God. So the ability to acknowledge, confess and move on with God is a good thing.
On the other hand, what I have witnessed in my life and others is a casual attitude toward sin develop. It’s no big deal, God will forgive me, He has to. That’s not what we see here with Peter though, and not what Jesus wants for us either.
Peter is grieved, he wept bitterly over his failure. There is a degree of that that’s healthy, necessary and good. So my question for today is, does your sin grieve your heart? When is the last time you wept over your moral failures? We can’t lose this sensitivity to God’s conviction in our lives.
That said, we can’t live there and keep beating ourselves up either. Satan wants nothing more than for us to get caught in a cycle of self condemnation. He will destroy your relationship with God that way.
So we are left with this tight rope to walk: experience deep conviction over sin, and receive God’s grace in the midst of it. That looks different for everyone and in every situation. But you can do a heart check. If there is no conviction, there is a problem in your heart. If there is no release and forgiveness, there is a problem in your heart. In either case it’s time to do some soul searching with God.
The second thing about this passage that gives me great hope is that Jesus restores Peter and puts him in charge of the whole movement. Peter failed miserably and Jesus not only forgave him, but gave him a purpose and a central role in His great story.
I have failed miserably and so have you. And we probably will again… yet God has a plan of restoration, and purpose for us. He has a part for us to play in His great drama, and a place for us in His family.
Jesus – search my heart and show me if I have become numb to my sin, if I am taking your redemption for granted. Forgive me for where I have done that. Help me to know the depths of my own depravity, and to mourn. And help me to know the depths of your redeeming grace and walk in that freedom. Jesus, restore my life and write me in to your great story of rescue. It’s in your name that I pray, amen.