Friday after Oculi
Scripture: St. Luke 22:39-71 (NKJV)
39 Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. 40 When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” 43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. 46 Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”
47 And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. 48 But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53 When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
54 Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance. 55 Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. 56 And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, “This man was also with Him.” 57 But he denied Him, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” 58 And after a little while another saw him and said, “You also are of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59 Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.” 60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.
63 Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him. 64 And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, “Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?” 65 And many other things they blasphemously spoke against Him. 66 As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him into their council, saying, 67 If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will by no means believe. 68 And if I also ask you, you will by no means answer Me or let Me go. 69 Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.” 70 Then they all said, “Are You then the Son of God?” So He said to them, “You rightly say that I am.” 71 And they said, “What further testimony do we need? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.”
“So Peter went out and wept bitterly.” Luke 22:62
Peter said he wouldn’t deny his Lord. Peter said he would die before he denied his Lord. Then, Peter denied his Lord…three times…twice before the fearsome interrogation of, well, a servant girl. No excuses, no “I was under a lot of stress” or “I was having a bad day” or “I only kinda sorta denied Him.” No, Peter had just flat blown it. He was guilty as sin, and he wept bitterly at his shameful failing.
Have you ever had a moment like that? Most of us have, and we probably should have had more…moments we softened with our lying excuses about why our sin wasn’t so bad. Judas had a moment like that too, only he hung himself. So, two things to notice here:
First, there’s a difference between the work of the Holy Spirit calling you to repentance, and the work of the devil telling you to give up hope. Do not listen to the devil. Jesus died to take your sins away. So for heaven’s sake, let Him have them. Second, you really do have a sin problem. So stay repentant. Stay trusting in Jesus’ death on the cross for your sins. Repentantly and faithfully trusting in Him, stay forgiven. The arms of His mercy do ever remain open to you.
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on us as You had mercy on St. Peter. Grant us such joy in the gift of Your forgiveness that we sincerely lament our sins, and by the help of Your Holy Spirit, grant us to amend our sinful lives. Amen.”