How many can identify with Peter as we try our best to walk this Christian walk everyday? Maybe the better question is, who is willing to admit they can identify with Peter? Speaking for me, I can because I have made so many mistakes, too many to count or remember.
The scene was set this past week, Jesus passion, death on the cross and Resurrection. Yes, this message is late in that the events have passed but my intent was to let those events pass, then focus on the incredible mercy those of us who can identify with Peter feel.
The fact Peter walked and talked with Jesus every day for 3 and a half years may to many make his pain more intense but truth be told the Bible described his pain...Matthew 26:75 - And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly. The question for you and I is what did we do?
What did we do when He spoke to us saying "I have planted you in a difficult place to witness for me...and we didn't. What did we do when He spoke to us about going to that house where drugs are sold or that street corner to proclaim what He told us to say? What did we do when He told us to forgive the person who wounded us with false accusations? What did we do when He told us to buy a persons lunch because they had nothing to pay for what they wanted to eat?
Someone reading this will say He never said any of this to me. Okay, maybe not but if you are a Christian, He has told you to do something and it did not get done. Mine was putting the drugs down and seek Him and when I lied to Him, like Peter I wept...bitterly. Did I feel better? NO. But there came a time I cried so hard in bed begging for forgiveness, I could feel Jesus arms around me,I could even feel the fabric. It was a feeling of peace that was never felt by me and I have never forgotten it.
Another reason for this message coming after the events of The Resurrection is turning everyone who has been forgiven of whatever you needed to be forgiven for to the miracle of Pentecost. Remember, as much as Peter struggled and was forgiven...it was Pentecost that ultimately defined who Jesus knew Peter would always become. One of the greatest disciples, preaching a message and 3,000 souls to be saved.
No matter what you have done, no matter how many times you have done it, no matter how rebellious you have been, if you will ask for forgiveness it will be granted...that is mercy.
Before Jesus left his beloved disciples, John 20:19-22...19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as myFather hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.
As we prepare for this miracle of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, know for a certainty you have been forgiven because Jesus loves you that much. If you have never done so, spend this 50 day period in prayer, asking to be filled with the Precious Gift for it will be at that time you will be prepared to be who Jesus always knew you would be. One of the greatest witnesses for Him of our time.
Thank You Lord for the Word.