Lent 2009 – 3 Final Steps to the Cross

PeterSteps

Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:

“I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.”

But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you,” And all the other disciples said the same. (Matthew 26:31-35)

And so, Peter ultimately remains self-deluded. In a life altering moment, he tells the One whom he has acknowledged as The Christ that he will never deny him even when all others may. Does Peter honestly believe that or is he demonstrating an ignorance of the true condition of his heart? We are not told, but given our experiences with him, it wouldn’t be far fetched at this moment in history to lean toward an inner ignorance. Peter may have actually convinced himself that his loyalty to Jesus was pure and strong despite his numerous stumbles in the preceding three years. Do you think he was surprised at his first denial?

If any incident in Peter’s life puts a mirror up in front of us, it is these moments of denial. If asked when we are clear eyed and caffeinated, no Christian would perceive of a moment of stress when they would deny their love and allegiance to the Lord. Think hard though. Denial takes many forms beyond simply answering no to a question of association. Was there a moment when you didn’t speak up and should have? Has there ever been a time when being a Christian became an inconvenience and you put it in a secondary position? Failed to speak the truth when challenged by a non-believer?

Denial takes many forms. If you’ve read this far, it’s unlikely that you can claim ignorance. Are you unwilling to suffer the consequences of claiming Christ? The answer looms large this close to the Cross…

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