Jesus Can Redeem Your Denials

by | Apr 20, 2011 | Blogs, Fire in My Bones

Peter’s three denials could have marked
the end of his ministry. But the power of Christ’s forgiveness led to three
great victories.

The
Easter story is full of gloom. Agonizing prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Hostile mobs demanding execution. Betrayal and beatings. A crown of thorns and
a bloody cross.

But
one of the saddest parts of the story, to me, is what happened to Peter the
night Jesus was arrested. Peter was tired, stressed to the breaking point and
fearful of the crowd. When the high priest’s servant girl accused him of being
a disciple of Jesus, he denied it. When she repeated her accusation to some
bystanders, he denied it again. When others questioned him, the Bible says
Peter “began to curse and swear, ‘I do not know this man you are talking about!’”
(Mark 14:71, NASB)

This Easter, please remember that after Peter wept in
the darkness of his shame, the sun came up and Jesus lovingly restored his
faith. He will do the same for you
.”

Then
the rooster crowed, and Peter remembered Jesus’ words: “Before a rooster crows
twice, you will deny me three times” (v. 72).

This
could have been the end for Peter. He wept bitterly and disappeared. He never
says anything else in Matthew and Mark’s gospels. Luke records the fact that
Peter went to Jesus’ tomb and found it empty. John’s is the only gospel that
explains how Peter found full restoration for his failure.

Sulking,
lonely and dejected, Peter went back to what he knew—his fishing job. He had
fished all night and caught nothing. But then Jesus appeared on the shore and
invited His friends to cast their nets on the right side of the boat. They
hauled in a full net of fish! This was a divine sign that their Master still
had plans to use them.

Peter
must have been curious when He saw the full breakfast Jesus had prepared for
the disciples on the beach. How could this be? Jesus wasn’t frowning or
scowling. Nor was he waiting to deliver a stern lecture. He didn’t scold Peter
or even remind him of his sin. This amazing Savior simply invited Peter to sit
with him and eat.

Then
Jesus talked his beloved Peter through the process of healing. He said to Peter
three times: “Do you love me?” Surely Peter realized that Jesus was repeating himself
three times in order to intentionally apply His forgiveness to Peter’s three
denials. Jesus’ three commands to Peter (“Tend My lambs,” “Shepherd My sheep”
and “Tend My sheep”) provided all the reassurance he needed.

Jesus
had not disqualified him. He was not a failure. He was back in the game.

What
is even more amazing is how the shaky, impetuous, insecure Peter was
transformed after he was baptized in the Holy Spirit a few weeks later. This
weak man who crumbled under pressure when His Master was arrested then preached
not one, not two, but three important sermons in the opening chapters of the
book of Acts.

First,
Peter preached on the day of Pentecost and boldly declared to a crowd that
Jesus is the Messiah—and 3,000 people were converted. Second, after God healed
the lame man in Solomon’s portico, Peter preached a sermon of repentance and
5,000 people were saved. Third, after Peter and John were arrested and brought
before the high priest, Peter bravely defended his faith in Christ and told the
elders: “There is salvation in no one else” (Acts 4:12).

Three
denials. Three affirmations of Christ’s love. Three courageous sermons
defending Jesus in the face of opposition. I hope you can do the math.

There
is a bit of Peter in all of us. We are weak in the face of temptation. We feel
like failures. Some people even keep a spiritual scorecard reminding them that
they struck out.

This Easter, please remember that after Peter wept in
the darkness of his shame, the sun came up and Jesus appeared on the shore with
a meal prepared. Just as He invited Peter to breakfast, and then lovingly
restored his faith, He can do the same for you. 

J. Lee Grady is contributing editor of Charisma. He is preaching in San Juan,
Puerto Rico, this week. You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. His newest book is 10 Lies Men Believe (Charisma House).

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

This Coach Can Help You Destroy Your Addiction to Pornography

This Coach Can Help You Destroy Your Addiction to Pornography

Let’s talk about a subject most people want to avoid. Let’s talk about pornography. According to Covenant Eyes, statistics show that 28,258 users are watching pornography every second, and 20% of mobile online searches are for porn. Among Christians, 20% of youth...

The Real Truth About the Marriage of Politics and Faith

The Real Truth About the Marriage of Politics and Faith

As I look back, I realize that God has given me a career path with some rather unique experiences. I have built bridges at the intersection of faith and government my whole life, and I have learned that serving people through a role in government can be just as...

Joyce Meyer: Winning the Battle Against Satan in Your Mind

Joyce Meyer: Winning the Battle Against Satan in Your Mind

If you have received Christ as your Savior, then you have an enemy. Did you know that? I know some people feel uncomfortable talking about the devil, but he is real and it’s important for us to face the truth about him so we can have a victorious life in Christ. Now,...

It’s Time to Rebuild Love and Unity in the Church—Part 2

It’s Time to Rebuild Love and Unity in the Church—Part 2

Note: As we move towards Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement, Grant Berry, a Messianic believer, speaks about the deeper repentance needed in the Messianic part of the family. As you have read part one of this article during the month of Av and are now reading part two in the...

Will Many of the Elect Really Be Deceived by the Antichrist?

Will Many of the Elect Really Be Deceived by the Antichrist?

The most sobering and troubling statement in the Olivet Discourse is where Jesus says, “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matt. 24:24). This statement cries out for an...

RECENT ARTICLES

Prophetic Lessons in the Hurricane-Force Storms of Life

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe34pxhddd4 With Hurricane Ian slamming Florida, it's a time to reflect on the storms of life. As I was preparing for the hurricane, I documented some thoughts about...
Why God Cares About Your Physical Health

Why God Cares About Your Physical Health

God doesn’t care if I am fat. He wants me to enjoy my life. He wants me to live, love and be happy. Food makes me happy so I’m just doing what He wants me to do. That was just an excuse and at its core it is untrue. God really doesn’t care about our outward...

An Unborn Baby’s Heart Is Beating—Stop Denying It

An Unborn Baby’s Heart Is Beating—Stop Denying It

Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams turned heads last week in Atlanta when she defiantly announced during a political event that an unborn baby doesn’t have a heartbeat at six weeks gestation. “There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks,” said...

Prophecy: We Are in a Season of Blessings

Prophecy: We Are in a Season of Blessings

We are kingdom citizens, and not of this world. We don’t abide by this world’s economy and the natural things that happen. Repeatedly, over the last four weeks, I’ve been hearing not to look at the circumstances of this world. We are not of this world. Get your eyes...

Pin It on Pinterest