On the night Jesus was betrayed, He told His disciples what was going to happen. He let them know that He would be delivered up... and they would all fall away from Him.
The disciples could not believe their ears. If Jesus were to be arrested and in need, no way would they ever desert Him! Why Peter kept saying repeatedly, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You! With You, I am ready to go to prison and to death!"
Of course, you know the story. Peter did not live up to his commitment. When push came to shove, he succumbed to the pressure and the fear of man. He vehemently denied three times that he even knew Jesus, even cursing and swearing on the last denial to convince his audience. How horrible he felt when the Lord turned and looked at him with a look of wounded love... and then the cock crowed. The Bible says that Peter "went out and wept bitterly."
CAN YOU RELATE?
I can so relate to Peter, can you? There have been so many times that I have promised the Lord this, that, and the other... only to fail miserably and fall woefully short of my commitments. In my 26 years as a Christian, I have surely experienced the guilt and bitter tears associated with denying Jesus through my attitudes, actions and reactions.
Maybe you have made a huge mess of your life by disobeying and denying God. Maybe you have trashed your marriage, or your family, or your purity, or your good name by your sins and selfishness. What do you do when it seems like you have sinned too greatly for even God to forgive?
No doubt that is EXACTLY how Peter felt. He denied even knowing the Lord in the Lord's greatest hour of need. What a HUGE sin!
THERE IS HOPE FOR YOU!
One of the greatest lines in all the Bible was delivered by the angel at the empty tomb, "But go, tell His disciples and Peter, 'He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He said to you'" (Mk 16:7). Peter felt so worthless and rejected because of what he did, yet God was not through with him. The Lord singles him out that resurrection morning to let Peter know that He still loved him and still had a plan for him.
The same is true for you! No matter what you may have done in your life, the cross and empty tomb shout from the highest mountain, "You can be forgiven!" Though you may have failed miserably, you do not have to languish in that failure. Just like Peter, God wants you to get up and get back in the game. You are NOT destined to be a second class Christian. You can be restored and made new.
Take courage, my friend. The Lord still loves you. He still has a wonderful plan for your life. His blood is still able to cleanse the worst of sins. That is the story of Easter - you can receive a new life and a new start with the Lord.
Why not thank Him right now for his AMAZING GRACE! Put your life in His hands and let the resurrected Christ arise in you.
From His Heart Ministries can be seen on LightSource.com. This is another opportunity to reach people throughout the world with the love of Christ. Tell your friends and check us out.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls.
Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast. Click here to become a ministry partner.