The Journey to The Cross, March 25: Denied!
After Jesus is arrested in the garden, a series of trials commenced. The first one was before the Jewish religious leaders, the ones who had orchestrated His arrest. It was an illegal trial because it was held in the middle of the night. Most of the disciples had scattered to the four winds – but Peter and John had followed at a distance. Peter found himself in the courtyard of the home of the High Priest, the trial location, where various people had gathered around the fire. Over the course of time, three different people asked him if he was one of the followers of Jesus. And three times, he denied that he ever knew Him.
He denied the Man who invited him to walk on the water.
He denied the Man who gave him the ability to step on the waves.
And he denied the Man who rescued him from the wind and waves when fear swamped him and he went under.
This was The Man he denied ever knowing, let alone following.
Jesus had warned him it was coming. And Peter had insisted that he would never deny Him.
But when the moment came, fear overcame love. And history. And every bit of knowledge Peter had about Jesus. He listened to his fears and denied the One who loved him the most.
How often do I do that? I know that I have a constant Friend in Jesus. And I know that His love for me is greater than anything I can imagine. But when what I fear looms large, I often cower beneath it. I forget who I am and Whose I am. And I deny Him, too.
I let fear stop me from sharing my faith.
I let fear stop me from speaking the Truth in love.
I let fear stop me from inviting my coworker to church.
I let fear stop me from loving unconditionally.
And when I do, I deny my Lord.
Praise God for His forgiveness. And just like Jesus forgave Peter and restored him, He continuously offers us forgiveness. Thanks be to God!
Adoration: Consider praying: Psalm 31:1-2 (NLT) “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!”
Confession: Confess any lack of faith. Pray the prayer of the man Jesus met in Mark 19:24 (NLT) “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
Thanksgiving: Thank God for the people in your life who did not allow fear to keep them from sharing Christ with you.
Supplication: Pray for an increased boldness to share your faith.