And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept. Mark 14:72 (ESV)
For some of us, failure has loomed over our lives like a flashing neon sign. Embarrassment…Anger…Fear…Shame…Despair… flash before us as reminders of how much we have blown it.
Peter’s denial of Christ is a failure of epic proportions. Knowing the truth in what Jesus did for Peter lets us know that failure is an event, not a destiny. It gives us hope in the love and grace Jesus has for all of us.
Jesus told the disciples they would all fall away and that Peter would deny Him. Peter was emphatic that he would not. Why would Peter think he would not? Because he thought Jesus would be standing there right by him. He didn’t know he would be standing by himself.
All the disciples expected Jesus to set up His kingdom on earth. Peter could not wrap his head around the concept of a Messiah who would suffer and die. He was expecting Jesus to be crowned King of Kings. Even though Jesus had been saying He was going to die, Peter could not grasp that.
Jesus knew what Peter was expecting was not going to happen, and his world was going to be shaken.
There are things that have happened in my life that have shaken my world and the expectation of what I thought was going to happen did not happen. I am sure you have been there too.
When this has happened, I have made foolish mistakes. I have said things like, “If God really cared, He would not have allowed this to happen,” “I was standing on God’s Word and look what happened,” just to name a few.
It’s in these times our faith is being tried. It’s in the weakness of our flesh when these times occur that His grace will cover us.
Jesus made provision for Peter to be restored.
He allowed Peter to fail so he would learn that only by God’s power will he ever succeed. By one fire Peter said, “I don’t know Him.” By another fire Peter said, “Lord, you know I love you.” By one fire Peter denied Christ. By another fire Peter is restored by Christ.
When Jesus asks the question of Peter three times, “Do you love me?” Jesus wanted Peter to see how great his sin was in order to understand His grace and forgiveness, so he could be restored.
Peter faced the truth about himself and was never the same after Jesus restored him. Never again would he deny Christ.
None of us are so strong that under certain circumstances and certain situations we can feel like Jesus has abandoned us, and we can says things we wish we hadn’t said and do things we wish we hadn’t done. Satan will always want to come back to use that against you to tell you what a worthless failure you are.
We need to come back immediately and remember the forgiveness of Jesus and confess our faults to Him. His grace redeems and restores us from all our failures if we just give them to Him. Let’s turn off that flashing neon sign of failure and light up the world with the redeeming power of His love.
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Cheryl Crawford is a daughter of the Most High King, saved by grace. Her degree and field of work are in accounting, but would trade it all to farm if she could. She enjoys reading, writing, gardening, SEC football and playing cards with friends. Cheryl is a natural organizer with a heart that loves to serve. You can read more about Cheryl on her BoP bio.