A Double Promise, A Triple Failure, A Second Chance

Friday, May 4, 2012

“And Peter went out, and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:62 KJV).

Why is Peter weeping bitterly in today’s Scripture?

Moments from His arrest, trial, and ultimate crucifixion, our Lord Jesus tells His eleven apostles: “All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written [Zechariah 13:7], I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee” (Matthew 26:31,32).

Jesus knows that He is about to be arrested. He explains to His apostles that they will be ashamed of Him and they will abandon Him when the soldiers come to capture Him. “Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended” (verse 33).

The Lord Jesus then replies, “Verily, I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice [three times]” (verse 34). Peter argues, “Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee” (verse 35). In fact, all of the disciples agree they will not abandon Jesus Christ (verse 35).

Once Jesus is arrested, Peter goes to the palace to watch Jesus’ trial from a distance. On three separate occasions, Peter is recognized as a follower of Jesus, and all three times he denies he is a disciple of Christ (Matthew 27:69-74; Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:54-62); then, the rooster crows.

What a heartbreaking verse: And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice” (Luke 22:61). Then today’s Scripture says, “And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.”

Peter miserably failed the Lord—thrice—despite his double promise not to. We too are sinners: oftentimes, we miserably fail the Lord, even when we doubly promise not to. But, just as Jesus Christ forgave Peter and gave him another chance (John 21:15-17), we are thankful that our gracious God has forgiven us in Christ (Colossians 2:13) and that He gives us second chances too! 🙂