Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Beneath The Cross Of Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 26:75 – Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly. (NIV)
When I was about thirteen, an incident occurred that secured itself to my memory. It has to do with my mother. First, let me explain what kind of life my mother lived out before me as I grew. She was very hard-working. She was sweet to me and always spoke to me in a kindly fashion, even when I needed correction.
One day, we had been out together and were about to enter our home. I began to degrade my mother for something that she had said. My words may be lost through the passing of so many years, but I do remember my mother's face. It became very downcast. To this day, I regret treating my mother in such a fashion. I repented. I never wanted to treat my mother that way again. I wanted to treat my mother kindly.
Peter repented for denying Christ three times. Just at the time when Jesus had been arrested, falsely accused, and proclaimed by the chief priests as worthy of death, Peter, who had been a close follower of Christ, didn't stand by Him.
Matthew 26:69-70 – Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. "You also were with Jesus of Galilee," she said. But he denied it before them all. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said. (NIV)
Two more incidents followed when Peter denied knowing Christ. Peter repented deeply, for he went out and wept bitterly.
Peter's true repentance was borne out in the significant role that followed in his life as a central figure in establishing the Christian church.
When the Holy Spirit opens our understanding to see how our lives fail to meet the standard that Christ revealed to us through His life and teachings, we may see our need for change. As a result, we may recognize how good indeed is the good news that Jesus died for our sins. His death paid the price for our failures, and through genuine repentance, our slate can be wiped clean. Through receiving Christ's forgiveness, we can move into the new life that Christ offers and grow more like Him each day.
Prayer: Loving God, we thank You that Your love for us is so great that You reached out for us through Jesus Christ. We are blessed that no matter how great the size of our failures, we can always be forgiven and given new life. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.