Throughout the Bible, we encounter many instances of human weakness. I don’t know about you, but I’m so thankful that God in His mercy can use my mistakes, my past for His glory – the same as He used the men and women in the Bible (failings and all). I see great leaders who also had great sin problems. I am not alone in my humanness. Lately the great man of God, Peter, has been my focus of study. Peter denies Jesus 3 times, Peter doubts Jesus’ words, Peter speaks before he thinks, Peter angers quickly, Peter whom Jesus called Satan…
BUT yet, Christ loved him. In spite of Peter, Jesus still died for him. In Peter’s weakness – Christ was made strong. When Peter realized he’d broken his vow to never deny his Lord, the moment that rooster crowed, Peter was reminded of Jesus’ words foretelling his betrayal and he wept bitterly. Now I have no record of those three days from Christ’s death to resurrection about where Peter was or what he was doing, but I can imagine he was miserable. Condemnation, failure, depression, remorse, anger, regret, bitterness….you get the picture.
Peter, while wrestling with his emotions and I’m sure feeling like a hopeless failure, was still on the mind of his Savior. Upon arrival at the tomb of Jesus, the three ladies bringing spices to anoint Jesus were alarmed by a young man clothed in a white robe who said to them that the Jesus who was crucified had risen! And then comes the beautiful restorative words (Mark 16;7), “But go, tell his disciples — and Peter — that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” The ladies find the disciples and share the story and Peter takes off running for the tomb to see for himself (Luke 24:12) (John 20:2-9).
My favorite part about redemption, the moment when you realize all is well, your sins are forgiven, you’ve been restored. Oh the peace that floods your soul. Peter’s moment came in John 21 along with the foretelling of the suffering that was to come for him. Peter chose to follow Jesus, even to death. Through his willingness to choose Christ and be used as His vessel, lives were changed and the good news reached many hopeless souls. Christ fully forgave Peter and although Peter may have never forgotten his betrayal, Jesus did – Peter was cleansed from all unrighteousness.
As I’ve read and studied, I’ve come to the realization that I am Peter. I’ve failed more times than I can count. I’ve denied Jesus at the moments I should have chosen Him, but instead followed my own selfish desires. I’ve doubted Jesus’ words and in doing so questioned His very sovereignty. I’ve spoken many times before thinking and angered over little petty things that have no eternal value. I am sinful, weak, and prideful. I am Peter.
Like Peter, I need the Savior! Through Jesus and truly being sorry for my sins, I am forgiven (1 John 1:9). I am loved! I am His! I am redeemed! My prayer is that you would know how deep the love of the Father is for you; that you would know there is hope when you have failed, Christ loves you unconditionally. Choose Him!