Sure enough, the prediction came true. At Jesus’ trial, Peter denied being with Jesus three different times, when asked by three different people. (Matthew 26:69-75) Immediately after the third denial, a rooster crowed – just as Jesus said it would. That is when Peter remembered Jesus’ prediction. Peter broke down and cried at the realization that he failed and betrayed Jesus.
Peter. A disciple. A man who stood in the very presence of Jesus, the Son of God. If he was susceptible to this denial, what does that mean for us, who believe by faith alone, sight unseen?
Peter was faced with certain death if he admitted his association with Jesus. He chose to save himself. The thing is, Jesus could’ve saved himself, too. He could have called upon God to destroy His tormentors and prove (once again) that He was the Christ. But He didn’t. Jesus knew He had to die as the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of His believers.
I’d like to say I wouldn’t have betrayed Jesus as Peter did, but I have to be honest – I can relate to him. He had believed so strongly and yet, failed so miserably. How horrifying it must have felt the moment he realized what he had done.
There have been times when I have hidden my Christian beliefs to “fit in.” I have felt remorse for being weak in the face of opposition. I have shied away from opportunities to talk about Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Like Peter, I have cried at my own lack of courage and absence of unwavering faith.
No, I don’t judge Peter. I understand him…a little too well.
To me, Easter isn’t about colored eggs, chocolate bunnies and baskets of jelly beans. I feel sadness for Jesus’ torture and execution, awe at his resurrection and gratefulness for his courageous sacrifice for me; a person who truly is not deserving.
I ache for those who regard Jesus’ life and death as a myth or a fable. I pray that one day their hearts will soften and melt away the layers of unbelief.
So it is with a heavy heart that I nibble the ears off my Dove chocolate bunny. Somewhere in my subconscious I am aware that I cannot strengthen my fragile faith with milk chocolate sweetness, but I do it anyway. This is the
sick weak person that I am.
Can you relate to Peter (or my “chocolate therapy”) in any way?