When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.” “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.” But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same. Mark 14:26-31
Whenever Christ predicted that the group would deny him, Peter indignantly protests in confidence and pride that he would never do such a thing. This act of telling Jesus He was wrong was in itself denying His all-knowing ways and reveals Peter’s misunderstanding of Christ’s character.
I get it, Peter. You were confident in yourself, not in Christ, and you didn’t even know it. You thought you were doing (and would continue to do) “the right thing” in standing up to and for Jesus. Then the time came and you bailed.
But this blatant denial was no shock to Christ – AND HE WENT TO THE CROSS ANYWAYS. He knew all His closest friends would leave Him, betray Him, reject Him – and still, He marches on to Calvary. This is such amazing grace! I love how Rebecca Faires writes in the She Reads Truth Lent study:
When Jesus tells Peter he will deny Him three times, He’s not clanging the final bell of doom for Peter. He’s confronting Peter’s sin, but He’s not rejecting Peter’s salvation. We, like Peter, must see the true nature of our sin, to see the truth of our salvation.
God in His sovereignty made man, knowing we would sin, then loved us anyway. We were offered life and chose sin. Yet there is more grace. He covers us in His own righteousness rather than require perfection, because He knows we could never obtain His favor or love by any other means. Chad preached a sermon in church this Sunday from Philippians and our call as believers to press on in pursuit of Christ. This line rocked me:
God doesn’t call us out of our sin and into perfection; He calls us out of our sin and into relationship, then covers us with His righteousness.
The Good News of the Gospel is that the work is complete, and even before the rooster crows and we have a chance to deny Christ, His forgiveness has covered us and made us righteous. Our response is to believe Him at His word, then repent and tell others of His unending faithfulness! I’m thankful for amazing grace today!