Always More

About an hour later, someone else spoke up, really adamant: “He’s got to have been with him! He’s got ‘Galilean’ written all over him.”

Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” At that very moment, the last word hardly off his lips, a rooster crowed. Just then, the Master turned and looked at Peter. Peter remembered what the Master had said to him: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went out and cried and cried and cried.         Luke 22:59-62 (The Message)

Many events happened on this day called by many as, Good Friday. I grew up in a church culture that focused, almost exclusively, on the solemnity of the extreme sacrifice that Jesus made. Every step of His suffering journey was recalled and meditated upon. That’s not a bad thing. The crucifixion of the Messiah was not quick and clean. The magnitude of the gift of salvation should never be quickly passed over or minimized. But there is always more in a life with Jesus.

Peter has always been one my Bible favorites. He is so real. He is so not perfect! And I can so relate.

I have had times in my life with Jesus in which I failed miserably. I cried and cried and cried. I believed I could never be accepted or welcomed back into that wonderful place where Jesus and I are close and intimate with each other.

When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love You.”

“Feed My lambs,” He told him.

A second time He asked him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said to Him, “You know that I love You.”

“Shepherd My sheep,” He told him.

He asked him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”

Peter was grieved that He asked him the third time, “Do you love Me?” He said, “Lord, You know everything! You know that I love You.”

“Feed My sheep,” Jesus said. “ I assure you: When you were young, you would tie your belt and walk wherever you wanted. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will tie you and carry you where you don’t want to go.” He said this to signify by what kind of death he would glorify God. After saying this, He told him, “Follow Me!”                     John 21:15-19 (HCSB)

Peter denied Jesus three times. Jesus asked and got an affirmative answer from Peter three times. I wonder if Peter didn’t think of that as the years went on, grateful that Jesus ‘covered’ or ‘canceled’ the denials with declarations of love. Surely not a coincidence. And no happenstance that Jesus sends His assurance to me that His arms are always open to restore me in our relationship, drying my tears.

Let us take time today to come and spend time with Jesus today. Let us embrace the extraordinary gift of His love. Begin by opening one of the gospels and reading the events of this day. Then open the Book of Revelation and read chapters 21 and 22. The time is coming when there will be no more tears because Jesus said, “It is finished.”

 

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