Having arrested Him, they led Him away and brought Him to the house of the high priest; but Peter was following at a distance.
After they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter was sitting among them.
And a servant-girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and looking intently at him, said, "This man was with Him too." But he denied it, saying, "Woman, I do not know Him."
A little later, another saw him and said, "You are one of them too!" But Peter said, "Man, I am not!" After about an hour had passed, another man began to insist, saying, "Certainly this man also was with Him, for he is a Galilean too." But Peter said, "Man, I do not know what you are talking about." Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, "Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly. Luke 22:54-62
I love how descriptive Luke wrote. You can just imagine in your mind the night. The shadows of men sitting around a fire. An unsure feeling in the air. The conversations of the men talking about the happenings on this night. The chill of the night air as Peter, desiring to be not far from His Lord, quietly slips into the circle of men warming themselves by the fire. I’m sure he appeared a bit distracted, wanting to hear or see what might be happening to Jesus. Not thinking he would do what he was about to do.
I think these are some of the most heart-breaking of scriptures. How Peter must have felt that very moment when the rooster crowed and he realized what he had done. Peter loved the Lord. He had spent much time walking with Jesus, talking and watching the miracles He performed. Jesus had even healed his mother-in-law. He knew Jesus was the Son of God and he knew Jesus. Why did he deny him?
Why do we deny Him? Why do we who proclaim to know the Lord find ourselves denying the very One who saved us? Oh, we may not do it in quite the same way Peter did, but we do it very subtly which is just as bad if not worse. Perhaps in conversation with a co-worker we say a few unkind things about another co-worker, or out with our friends we give in to temptation and go places we know we shouldn’t go and do things we know we shouldn’t do. Maybe we’re alone at home and we decide to watch a movie that we know we shouldn’t be watching. We are not behaving as one who has been changed. At these moments, if we are truly His child, the rooster is crowing so to speak and the Lord is looking at us.
Peter knew immediately what he had done. When the words of denial crossed his lips the Lord turned and looked at him. Just think of that! I imagine the look Jesus gave was not one of anger or of surprise, but more one of sorrow and love. He loved Peter, he tried to warn Peter. He had prayed for Peter. ‘Oh, Peter’, he must have thought. At that very moment when their eyes met, Peter remembered the things the Lord had told him. He left the circle of men and the warmth of the fire and found a quiet place to himself and wept bitterly. Peter repented. His heart was broken over his sin.
Like Peter, our hearts must be broken over our sin. I can relate to Peter can’t you? In my life I’ve felt the gaze of the Lord at the very instant of entering into something I knew beforehand I shouldn’t do, and it is heartbreaking. But how reassuring to know that if we repent, like Peter, and weep over our sin and turn away from it, He is Just to forgive us. (1 John 1:9)
This Easter spend some time reflecting not only on the Work of the Cross, but also on your life. Would someone accuse you of knowing the Savior? Does your life reflect Him who died for you?
If not, just look into the eyes of Jesus.
Diligently Seeking Him,