Peter sipped his wine. Jesus had been talking about very serious stuff for awhile now, and he didn't seem like he was going to let up anytime soon. He glanced towards the end of the table. Philip and Thomas looked like they were about to fall asleep.
Jesus looked straight into Peter's soul just then, and his drink lodged in his throat, causing him to almost choke.
"Simon, Simon, 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."
Part of him wanted to burst out laughing. Part of him wanted to roll his eyes. Part of him felt the words grip his soul, warning him.
Peter had to control himself from physically shaking it off. He turned a blind eye to his pride. How could Jesus think that? "Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death."
Jesus smiled, but there was a hint of sadness in his eyes. His face morphed into yet another serious expression. "I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day until you deny that you know me three times."
Peter tried not to shake his head. That just wasn't going to happen.
Based on Luke 22:31-34
I have always known that if I was in Peter's shoes, I would have felt awful. Like beat myself up for all eternity awful. And then I always have to remember the hard truth: I have done that.
Then I hate myself.
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." Romans 8:1-4
Guys, we have all screwed up and betrayed God big time, many times. It's a fact. But before you plan to loath yourself for all eternity with a grudge modeling Elizabeth Bennet's, remember that Jesus told Peter he was going to betray Him. He told him. He already knew he was going to screw up. But Jesus loved Peter anyways. God called him anyways.
We all screw up, but God doesn't want us to hang onto that guilt and condemnation for life.
"Jesus stood up and said to her, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?' She said, 'No one, Lord.' And Jesus said, 'Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.'"
Even though He knew how badly we would fall, He doesn't condemn us. He loves us. So go and sin no more.
V. Joy Palmer