Simon Peter asked, "Master, just where are you going?"
Jesus answered, "You can't now follow me where I'm going. You will follow later."
"Master," said Peter, "why can't I follow now? I'll lay down my life for you!"
"Really? You'll lay down your life for me? The truth is that before the rooster crows, you'll deny me three times."
Jesus knew that Peter would walk away.
Jesus knew that he would restore Peter.
The denial, the heartbreak, the walking away is part of the process. When we are learning to live with “faith our eyes" we will struggle. There will be times that we deny the one who loved us.
When we deny Jesus, he will restore us.
You see, that’s why today is Good Friday.
As a pastor one of the questions that I get asked often is “Why do we call Good Friday, “good,” when it was the day that Jesus was crucified?”
It’s because of this.
It’s because when we will fail and falter and deny Jesus he loves us no less than before. He welcomes us with open arms.
More than that, in the reconciliation after the failure we see Peter given greater responsibility?
Because he knows the pain and hurt of falling. But, he also knows the intimate joy of reconciliation.
We give Peter a bad wrap. Jesus doesn’t. He loves Peter and embraces Peter. Even knowing what is about to happen he keeps Peter close and loves him. There is no self-protection from Peter and how he is about to deeply wound his friend. Jesus simply loves.
Then Jesus restores.
He never stops moving toward Peter in love.
Notice the truth of Jesus’ statement. He is brutally honest with Peter. He doesn’t hold back.
Yet, on the shore next to a little fire, Jesus embraces Peter as brother.
As I write this, I feel the knot in my throat as I imagine those two moments juxtaposed in Peter’s life.
This is what Good Friday is all about.
Jesus loves Peter, denial and all.
Jesus loves me, denial and all.
Jesus loves you, denial and all.
Today truly is good.