Summary: This is a first person Easter message from the perspective of the Apostle Peter.
My given name is Simon son of John but you will know me as Peter. Many of you will know me from my reputation as one of the Twelve disciples of Jesus. I would like very much this Easter morning to share with you about my experiences with our Lord.
I’ll never forget the first time I met Jesus. Andrew my brother comes huffing and puffing up to me shouting that he had found the Messiah. He drug me off with him to find Jesus. Jesus took one look at me, “Simon, son of John” He said “you shall be called Cephas” or Peter and he changed my name and my life forever. That day I went back to my work, I was a fisherman like my father. I was in buisness with Andrew my brother and James and John the sons of Zebedee. Jesus came to one day not long after that and called to us as we were casting our nets. Follow me He said and I will make you fishers of men. I left my nets that day and never looked back.
One day Jesus asked us a question. Who do you say that I am? He asked.
Some people believed He was a teacher – a great Rabbi – and He was. He taught us many things. For three years we ate with Him and followed Him as He taught the people. He taught us not only with His words but with His actions how we should live. He taught us how to treat our neighbors, He taught us how to treat our enemies. He taught us to be servants. I’ll never forget the greatest lesson He taught me on service. (Last Supper)
Some people believed He was a Miracle Worker – and He was. I watched Him as he gave blind Bartamaes back his sight. I saw Him heal the lepers, and restore hearing to the deaf. I was there when He cast out demons. The most wondrous of all was the daughter of Jairus. Only I and two others saw the gentle touch of Jesus on this little girl who was dead. Only the three of us heard His gentle call “little girl, wake up”, and she did. A miracle worker you better believe it.
Some said He was a prophet – like Elijah, or Jeremiah – and He was. He saw things that no one else could see. He knew me before He ever met me. Once we were in Samaria and He met a woman at the well and told her of her whole life. He told us also of the way things will be when He returns. Was he a prophet – yes but He was more.
Let me tell you who I say that He is – I say that He is the Messiah – God’s only Son. I wasn’t always as sure of that as I am now but now I am sure. Let me tell you the story. It was after the Passover supper where Jesus washed our feet. We went to the Garden of Gethsemane outside Jerusalem to pray. Jesus told us at supper that His time had come and that one of us would betray Him. We fell asleep as Jesus prayed. I was so weary. Jesus woke us and told us that it was time and we saw the torches of the crowd as they came. Judas, a man that we had shared everything with for 3 years stood at the head of the crowd. He came and kissed Jesus on the cheek. Then officers of the temple arrested Jesus and in the confusion all of us ran. Andrew was with me but He didn’t stop running. I hid in the bushes and watched as they led Him away. That night my dreams became nightmares. I was in the courtyard of the temple during the trial when a servant girl approached me. You were with Jesus she said – and before I knew what was happening – I don’t know what your talking about I said. Then a maid began to point at me and tell them I was one of His disciples – again I denied that I knew Him. Fear overtook me and others said that I had been with Jesus and I cried I don’t even know Him. Then I heard it. A cock crowing in the distance. Jesus words rang in my ears “before the cock crows you will deny me three times, He said. I who had claimed to be His friend, who had called Him the Christ, who had said I would die with Him now I could not even find the courage to acknowledge that I knew Him. I ran from the courtyard weeping.