Good Friday 2021: 6 – Denial by Peter

6 - Denial by Peter

“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 14:27-31)

Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said. But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.” He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. (Matthew 26: 69-75)

It can be difficult to live out Christian values in our current society. We are more guilty of denying Christ than we may like to admit. Sometimes our betrayal of Jesus is not motivated by financial gain or ideological conceptions, but rather by a desire for social acceptance… or fear of social rejection. Priest and writer, Brennan Manning, wrote, “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, and walk out the door and deny him with their lifestyles…that is what an unbelieving world finds unbelievable.”

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you some times when you have denied Jesus with your words, actions, or non-action. The point is not to feel shamed or condemned. The point is to wake up to see yourself as you are, in all your human brokenness and fear. Then… if you choose… you can offer yourself to Jesus as you are… willing to be restored and transformed… so that you can become who God created you to be… and live out your true calling in this world.