As we slowly approach the Easter season, my attention is focused on the gospel. This week my eyes landed on Peter’s denial of Christ. At the last supper, Jesus states that Peter will deny him three times before the rooster crows. Peter loves Jesus so much that he repudiates in shock and disbelief. “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and even to death”.
In Luke 22:31-32 Jesus speaks to Peter saying, “Simon, Simon (Peter), behold, Satan demanded to have you that he might sift you like wheat, but, I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
The bible says after hearing the rooster crow, and realizing what he had done, Peter “wept bitterly”.
As I read the story, I found myself asking, “Why didn’t Jesus just pray that Peter not deny him?” Jesus knew that Peter truly loved him and that the denial would break Peter’s heart. Could it be that Jesus allowed it all to happen for God’s glory and Peter’s betterment? Jesus told Peter about the denial knowing that just hours after His blood would be shed to cover Peter’s sin, and three days later He would be raised from death and would reconcile Peter and all mankind to the Father. Jesus also knew what Peter would ultimately accomplish for the Kingdom of Heaven.
I am Peter. I tell Jesus I love Him in my limited, human understanding of what love is, and I mean it. Then I mess up and He covers me with a limitless love. I go through struggles in my life and I think “Where is Jesus?” . He is where He said He would be. He’s seated at the right hand of the Father interceding for me, praying that my “faith may not fail”. He loves me as He loved Peter. He knows my limits but, He knows His own plan for me. He knows that the struggles of life and the mistakes I make will break my heart. However, He also knows that He will be glorified and that when I have turned to him again, It will strengthen those around me.