Peter was in a state of shock. The one he embraced as Messiah, was being treated like a common criminal. His all powerful Saviour and Friend was being humbled by mere mortals and He was not even lifting a finger to save himself.
Peter was confused and sat before the fire trying to sieve through the avalanche of thoughts and doubts coursing through his mind. Was Jesus really who He said He was? Was this the end of a 3 year journey of discovering great new possibilities? What next? What if…?
Suddenly the threat of being joined with Jesus as a co-accused became very real. A young maid accused him of being an accomplice to Jesus. Without thinking Peter blurted out, “Me? I don’t know that man. Never seen him before! May I be d…..d if I have as much as spoken to him even once. …”
Peter denied Jesus not once, but 3 times within the space of an evening.
And then the cock crowed and he remembered…. how earlier in the evening, he had pledged his unwavering eternal allegiance to Jesus. He had promised to die rather than deny his dear buddy.
As the feelings of shame spread through his body, Jesus turned and looked at him. He knew!! Now Peter would gladly have died. He had denied his friend at His greatest hour of need. His gut wrenching pain increased and he wept bitterly.
Within the next 24hours Jesus was dead without an opportunity for Peter to apologise and seek forgiveness. It is easy to imagine Peter going home that day and spending the night asking God for Mercy.
Such a great sin but God saw a truly repentant heart and God forgave him.
How do I know?
Hear the words spoken to Mary in Mark 16: 6-7, after Jesus rose from the dead,
“Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. He is risen! ….But go tell His disciples - AND PETER – that He is going before you into Galilee…
Why single out Peter? Probably because Peter needed to know that in spite of what he had done. He was still loved. And so God sent him a word to let him know he was forgiven.
God will always honour true repentance!! It makes sense to take advantage of God's grace and mercy