The Pain of Denial
In the Upper Room: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” And he said to Him, “Lord, with You I am ready to prison and to death!” And He (Jesus) said, “I say to you, Peter, the cock will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.” Luke 22:31-34
In the Courtyard of the High Priest: “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a cock crows today, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.”
Denial at any age cuts deep! Impulsive Peter was, yet again, ready to die with Jesus and yet, just a few hours later, he would disown Christ publicly not once, or twice, but three times! How we like Peter are so easily swayed to take our eyes off Jesus out of fear or for other reasons, when the circumstances of life become intense.
But at the communion table, Peter learned of the greatest expression of Jesus’ love for him next to His dying for Peter on the cross, and that is our Lord’s ministry of prayer! Couple that with Peter’s honest and sincere repentance for his denial of Jesus when in the high priest’s courtyard, and you find a man after God’s heart that was used mightily in the days ahead: “…when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Oh, the mighty grace of God! One pastor has said, “And remember, there are no roosters in God’s museum!”
Praise to the One Who bore my denial upon the Cross!