Summary: After denying Jesus three times, Peter must have felt that Jesus would want nothing more to do with him, but on resurrection morning Peter received two wonderful surprises that told him he couldn't be more wrong about that.
A. One day an attorney gathered the entire family for the reading of the will of their wealthy relative.
1. Kinfolk came from near and far, to see if they were included in the bequests.
2. The lawyer somberly opened the will and began to read: “To my cousin Ed, I leave my ranch. To my brother Jim, I leave my money market accounts. To my neighbor and good friend, Fred, I leave my stocks. And finally, to my cousin George, who always sat around and never did anything, but wanted to be remembered in my will, I say, ‘Hello, George, I remembered you and remembered that I should leave you nothing but a greeting.’ ”
B. I begin with that story because situations like that have occurred regularly throughout time.
1. Undeserving people show up at the reading of the will to see if the deceased would shower them with both grace and goods.
2. Sometimes the deceased was gracious and other times not so.
C. I want to connect that kind of experience with something that happened in the life of Peter.
1. As we continue to explore his life and the impact of the touch of the Master’s Hand upon him, we are in a very powerful and transformational period in Peter’s life.
2. Last week we witnessed Peter’s bold assertions about how faithful he would be even in the face of death, but then we watched how he denied knowing Jesus three separate times within a span of hours, just as Jesus had predicted.
3. As we wrestled with Peter’s failure last week, I encouraged us to look at our own failures and sins, and to embrace the notion that there is hope for the fallen.
4. In today’s sermon, and in next week’s sermon, I want us to see how that hope was realized in Peter’s life, so that we will be assured that there is hope for us in our failures as well.
5. You might feel that this is a redundant message and you might wonder why I am spending so much time on this subject.
6. But what I want us to realize is that God included so much of Peter’s experience through this period of failure and restoration, so that there would be no doubt that there is hope for the fallen.
I. The Story
A. Let’s begin today where we ended last week. Let’s witness again Peter’s third denial: 59 And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:59-62)
1. So where did Peter go when he left the home of the high priest? No one knows.
a. Did he wander the streets of Jerusalem?
b. Did he go to Gethsemane where he had been with Jesus earlier?
c. Did he go to the place where he was staying in Jerusalem, perhaps at the home of John, according to tradition, John’s family had property in Jerusalem?
2. We don’t know where he went to wallow in his failure, but we know he wasn’t with Jesus.
B. We know where Jesus was and we know what happened to Jesus.
1. After the arrest in the garden, he was first taken to Annas’s house – he had served as high priest for 16 years – Jesus received his initial physical abuse there.
2. Next, Jesus was taken to Caiaphas’ palace and he was imprisoned there.
a. Jesus experienced more physical abuse at their hands.
b. At an early morning meeting of the Jewish elders, scribes and the whole Sanhedrin they decided to take Jesus to the Roman governor, Pilate to ask for his execution.
3. Pilate the Roman governor held a hearing for Jesus and concluded: “I find no guilt in this man.”
4. Pilate sent Jesus to Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, who had jurisdiction over Galilee, but Jesus refused to answer any of his questions, so Herod quickly returned Him to Pilate.
5. Pilate repeatedly tried to release Jesus, but the Jewish leaders continued to object.
a. Seeking to satisfy the Jewish leaders, Pilate had Jesus tortured, but that was not enough.
b. The Jewish leaders continued to demand that Jesus be crucified.
c. Finally, Pilate relented, washing his hands of the matter, he gave the order to execute Jesus
6. Jesus was forced to carry his own cross up to Calvary where he was crucified at 9 am.