God is the master storyteller and the inspiration and life I receive from His Word continue to amaze me. As we’ve celebrated the resurrection of Jesus over this weekend, I’d like to share some thoughts with you about Easter.
After hearing a radio presentation on the twelve voices of Easter, I started thinking about the denial of Peter. Jesus prophesied in Luke 22:34, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me."
We’re all familiar with the sound of a cockerel heralding dawn – and he often starts before the sun seeps across the horizon! Jesus could have chosen something more dramatic – a burning bush, an earthquake, a stick that turned into a snake, but He selected a simple bird. As I mulled this over, I realised that the sound of the rooster could have become a daily reminder to Peter of his failure. That he could have awoken each morning remembering how he had denied Jesus.
That is not God’s way though. In John 21:15-17 we read how Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection and engaged Peter in conversation.
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Peter denied Jesus three times – and Jesus asked him three times if he loved him. I see that as restoration and healing, a second chance. As he affirmed his love for Jesus, I believe he found forgiveness and the courage to move on. Instead of a sound of condemnation, the rooster’s crowing became a daily reminder of God’s grace and mercy towards him.
As we write, whether it’s fact or fiction, let’s never underestimate the power of simplicity. Jesus frequently used examples from daily life. He spoke of the bread of life, the good shepherd, living waters, salt of the earth, seed for the sower, light of the world and so many more. As we choose our words and illustrations carefully, our words can impact those who read them. Let’s follow our Father’s example and communicate grace and mercy rather than condemnation to a world that is lost in sin.