Summary: Memories are powerful reminders of our past both good and bad. Peter deals with his memories of denial.
• This is a time of daily memory making for me…..Tyler last night.
• Memories are one of the most conflicted parts of our existence.
• Good memories/bad memories
• There are some we wish we could just forget
• Was this Paul’s thorn?
• Breaking the very heart of God (you call me preacher, jr. preacher)
• Embracing Christ – Turning my back on Christ.
• No doubt Peter was plagued with memories, both good and bad
o His call
o His realization that Jesus was the Christ
o Miracles observed
• Today I am speaking to those of you who suffer frequently or infrequently with bowt of spiritual paralysis as a result of those memories.
• Peter the Patron Saint of Spiritual Paralysis
• His paralysis began with the 1st stabbing memory of that night around the table.
• It was a Passover that Jesus warned Peter about the power of Satan.
• Peter had sworn allegiance unto death, but Jesus encouraged him to keep his pride in check.
• “Satan has asked to sift you like wheat.”
• And in just a few hours Peter went from being a so bold as to wage war for the kingdom to following God in the shadows.
• Trying to hide his identity Peter is recognized and accused of being a Xn.
• Matthew wants us to understand that though Jesus confirms his identity 3x Peter denies his own as a disciple 3x.
• Matthew paints a picture of Jesus standing firm before the HP while Peter gives in to the HP’s slave.
• The CROW.
• This is the last we see of Peter for a while.
• No doubt when he heard the crow he fled the scene in shame as he came to remember Jesus’ words.
• Where he went no one knows for sure
• Matthew records that he “wept bitterly.”
• I can imagine…
• When Peter reappears it is not as the same proud, arrogant disciple
• Peter has been hardened and humbled by life.
• Thinking that he couldn’t possibly stand with God any longer, Peter returns to what he knew best – fishing.
• DID PETER NOT KNOW – HAD HE NOT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION – FORGIVENESS IS WHAT JESUS WAS ALL ABOUT!
• Instead Peter becomes a slave to sin.
• MAX LUCADO ILLUSTRATION
• Matthew makes it clear that Peter was sorry for what he had done
• Peter had been pardoned, but he lived like he was guilty – WHY?
• For the very same reason that we do – because he listened to his accuser.
Listening to Satan
• Have you ever noticed how easy it is to listen to the accuser?
• He has adapted his message to fit your lifestyle – he comes to us.
• God however requires that you make a decision – he calls us to himself.
• The result of our listening to the accuser is that we become a slave to sin.
o He tells the half truth that we are not worthy of God and as a result God won’t have us.
o We know that forgiveness is ours for the asking, but the accuser convinces us that God won’t tolerate us any longer.
• I am afraid that Peter represents us all quite well.
• In fact, anyone who comes face to face with God’s amazing grace must ask the question “who me?”
• The fact is that Jesus knew that Peter would fall down – trip!
• But Jesus also knew that nothing could separate us from the love of God.
A Message for Peter
• And so it is with Peter
• The angel is told to convey a message to the women at the tomb – a special message for Peter.
• WHAT DOES HE MEAN “AND PETER?”!
o Is this the same Peter to whom Jesus had said, “Get behind me Satan!”
• Luke’s gospel has Peter running to the tomb and returning home marveling!
• IS IT TRUE? COULD THIS MEAN A SECOND CHANCE!?
• Can you imagine Peter’s anticipation at seeing Jesus again?
• John’s gospel records the event in chapter 21.
• Jesus calls to the disciples from the shore and Peter dives for him
• Can you imagine their embrace?
• Jesus knew Peter’s heart and received his embrace as a sign of repentance.
• Jesus reinstates Peter
o 3 affirmations for 3 denials
o Simon Son of John
• Peter moves forward with life
• For Peter, resurrection was GOOD NEWS!
• Resurrection didn’t wipe away his memories of sin, but it broke the power of sin to paralyze!
• It enabled Peter to forgive himself as he had been forgiven and to move forward with life.