Summary: An ongoing look at the power of God's amazing grace.
April 7, 2019
Have you ever blown it? I think we’ve all been down that road a time or two. We’ve all said some things which were really, really nasty! We’ve also done some things which can cut a person down. Not only have we done those bad things, we’ve also errored by not doing the good which we should have done.
The broken promises, the hurtful comments, the lack of action. They can devastate a person. We can beat ourselves up over all of our sins and mistakes.
That’s one side of the coin. On the other side is our reaction to the hurt. We can be very unforgiving people, we can be bitter, angry and when bitten, we can bite back pretty well, too.
Have you ever been there? Maybe you’re there right now . . . You’ve made the piercing comments, you’ve hurt someone in some way.
OR - - you’ve been hurt, but forgiveness is not in the cards. You won’t forgive others nor yourself. Forgiveness, grace and reconciliation are not on the menu at your restaurant.
So, that’s where we’re at today - - - as we continue talking about the gift of God’s grace. We’re calling it GRACEOLOGOY. Today, I want to look at one Bible character, a glance at what he did and what was offered to him and who he became.
As Jesus was approaching His death, He was talking to His disciples and to the people around Him. Ultimately, Jesus was betrayed and arrested, disciples
scattered and deserted Him, with the exception of John.
Not only did the disciples flee, but Peter went one step further - - He denied Jesus. Now, Jesus had told Peter he would deny Him, but Peter was incredulous, “NO WAY! I’LL NEVER DENY YOU!! I’LL FIGHT WIT YOU TO THE END!”
But while Jesus was being interrogated, 3 times Peter was asked if he was with Jesus . . . each time Peter said “NO, WHO’S THAT GUY?” Peter was understandably afraid, yet he told Jesus he would never deny Him.
Peter would also remember what Jesus said in Matthew 10 - -
32 So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven,
33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 10:33
Well, that’s exactly what Peter did. He denied knowing Jesus not once, but three times in a few minute period, all while Jesus could see Peter.
Have you ever blown it like Peter? In whatever way you did, you feel like there’s no returning from what you’ve done. You can’t go back, you can’t be forgiven. In fact, you might be the first to say, you shouldn’t be forgiven.
Have you ever felt that way? Life will never be the same again. I've done it now. I've gone too far. I can’t recover from this one. I’ll have to carry this shame with me for the rest of my life. God could never use me now. I’m sure that’s how Peter felt.
Fast forward to the resurrection. The women go to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body. But when they arrive the stone in front of His grave had been moved and He was no longer there. They meet an angel who tells the women that Jesus wasn’t there, He had been raised. Then the angel said - -
7 But go, tell His disciples and Peter that He is going before you to Galilee. – Mark 16:7
It’s a simple phrase, and we so easily miss this simple statement - - - BUT it’s really so important. All of the disciples, except John, ran away. They had silently abandoned Jesus, they just kid of slithered into the darkness. But Peter’s rejection of Jesus was public and obvious.
I can imagine Peter beating himself up over what he did. He can never serve God. He could never be included in anything. It would be on his resume. His Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Linked In accounts would show he was a loser.
How could he even show his face to the other disciples after what he did to Jesus?
For many of us that would be the end of the story. But not in this story!! Because Peter’s story is a story of grace. Peter received something he did not deserve! He received UNMERITED FAVOR. Not just forgiveness, but also restoration and even we could say a promotion. Now, let me add, this is not the way to get a promotion in normal life, because most people just don’t do this.
The angels told the women to inform the disciples, and Peter -- Jesus is in Galilee.
It’s an amazing story. Peter denied Jesus, walked out on his leader. Turned his back on Jesus, denied knowing Him. Yet, in the end, Peter was forgiven. He was restored and became a leader in the church. After the resurrection, on Pentecost, Peter was preaching to the people and 3,000 people believed in Jesus.