“Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, ‘This man also was with him.’ But he denied it, saying, ‘Woman, I do not know him.’ And a little later someone else saw him and said, ‘You also are one of them.’ But Peter said, ‘Man, I am not.’ And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, ‘Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.’ But Peter said, ‘Man, I do not know what you are talking about.’ And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.” (Luke 22:54-62)
Peter was named ‘Rock,’ yet he was no stone. Man of impulse and passion, his heart was moved by the love and mercy of Christ. Jesus had foretold his impending temptation, and prayed that he would not fall. Peter believed that Jesus was Messiah and knew Him so intimately that through all his impetuosity, he earnestly wanted to please Him. Given both warning and freedom, he denied his Christ, yet within moments, the piercing, loving, liquid look from Jesus pierced his tender heart. Imagine the tears that flowed as he witnessed the crucifixion and realized his very capriciousness and denial and all their fallout were being borne by his loving Rabbi. (Matthew 16:15-18; Mark 3:16; 9:5; Luke 22:31-34)
What is our response to the sight of Jesus? Are we too focused on ourselves that we nary give Him a glance? Have we settled into apathy toward the gospel message, and sloth toward its power? What makes us skirt the deep issues of our sins to stay superficial in busyness and faith?
What can we rearrange in order to gaze at our Savior daily- no distractions- and learn what He says through His eyes. Behold, there is love, mercy, compassion, knowledge of who we are and who we will be, perfect understanding. Would His eyes bring out the best!
“Am I a stone, and not a sheep,
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross,
To number drop by drop Thy blood’s slow loss,
And yet not weep?
Not so those women loved
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
Not so fallen Peter, weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved.
Not so the Sun and Moon
Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
A horror of great darkness at broad noon —
I, only I.
Yet give not o’er,
But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.” ~Christina Rossetti, “Good Friday” (1830–1894)
Lord, smite me with Your loving, merciful conviction, that I never forget Your cross. Move me and have Your way with me for Your ends and praise.