THE GOD OF SECOND CHANCES
John 18:10 (NKJV) Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.
I don’t know about you but I can’t help but like Peter. He was impulsive, outspoken, and passionate. The proverbial “bull in a china shop”! He was never at a loss for words, always ready to speak his mind. He had his problems, but a lack of confidence certainly wasn’t one of them! Added to that, he really loved Jesus!
No wonder he was shocked when Jesus predicted that, he the bombastic but solid Peter, would not stand up for Him in His hour of most need! Surely not Peter!
Think about it…….we see from our scripture verse that he had enough courage to take a swipe at the thug who came to take Jesus away. Instinctively, when he perceived Jesus was in danger, he pulled out a sword and cut off the man’s ear! (John 18:10). Certainly that proved he had the courage to take a stand for Jesus.
How then could this burly, opinionated fisherman be reduced to trembling figure of fear by the questioning of a mere servant girl?
When he was with Jesus and the other disciples, he could not imagine ever denying Jesus. Yet, when Jesus was imprisoned, he seemed to have lost his bravado and Peter tried to pretend he didn’t even know Jesus!
Could this be……..? Yes, sadly it was true……………
Luke 22:61-62 (NKJV) “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times. So Peter went out and wept bitterly.”
When Peter realized what he had done by denying Jesus, even as Jesus was being tortured for his sake, it broke his big, tender heart.
Peter learned a life changing lesson in his denial. He faced his natural human reaction of going along with the crowd for fear of exposure and discovered that it wasn’t worth the price of his broken heart! Peter had failed His Lord and failed him miserably BUT Peter discovered that all was not lost. He quickly realized that he served the Lord of the “second chance…..third chance…….. And may I add…..the fourth chance”!
What do I mean by this statement?
I can only imagine how deeply Peter must have agonized knowing he had failed His Lord. Thoughts like…. “How could I have done such a thing?”………”Will there ever be forgiveness for me?” must have been racing through his mind and crushed heart.
COME; walk with me, into the silence of the Garden Tomb where they laid the body of Jesus.
SEE; the women coming early in the morning only to find that the tomb was empty.
HEAR; as they encounter two men who reminded them that Jesus had told His followers that He would arise on the third day.
WATCH; the stunned women racing to tell the disciples, who received their news in astonishment and were having difficulty wrapping their heads around this turn of events! BUT NOT PETER…………………Luke 24:12 (NKJV) “But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.”
Do you not wonder if Peter, our compulsive Peter, had seen an opportunity to grasp a ray of hope that He would see His Lord and seek his forgiveness; SO HE RAN WITH ALL HIS MIGHT TO THE TOMB?
Mark in his Gospel gives a similar account but in his record the divine visitor to the Garden Tomb instructed the women to tell the disciples AND PETER. (Mark 16:7)
Of all the disciples, I am sure Peter was the one that MOST needed to HEAR that his Lord was asking for him! It must have been music to Peter’s ears and a balm of healing to his soul!
We all, I am sure, can empathize with Peter…….. We all have failed many times in our faith and our walk with the Lord. I know I have!!
This passage in today’s Nugget gives me great reason to rejoice for it shows me clearly that we serve the God of second chances! Our loving Lord is not willing that ANY should perish so He extends his forgiveness, love and mercy to each of us over and over again!
Immerse yourself in His love today – let your heart sing, for the risen Lord has called your name and you are forgiven!