Lent: Peter’s Betrayal

“You are one of them!” “No, I’m not!” Peter replied.

Crowing rooster

Jesus was arrested and led away to the house of the high priest, while Peter followed at a distance.  Some people built a fire in the middle of the courtyard and were sitting around it. Peter sat there with them,  and a servant girl saw him. Then after she had looked at him carefully, she said, “This man was with Jesus!”  Peter said, “Woman, I don’t even know that man!”  A little later someone else saw Peter and said, “You are one of them!” “No, I’m not!” Peter replied.

About an hour later another man insisted, “This man must have been with Jesus. They both come from Galilee.” Peter replied, “I don’t know what you are talking about!” Right then, while Peter was still speaking, a rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered that the Lord had said, “Before a rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will say three times that you don’t know me.”  Then Peter went out and cried hard. (Luke 15)

An alarm call

After the bravado, bitter tears.

Such fine words, such fine promises.
Peter's passionate, eloquent tongue betrays him,
And now he uses every curse in the fisherman's repertoire.

If only...

A friend suggested that Lent is 40 days long because it is then long enough for you to fail.  All our fine promises begin to look bedraggled, our intentions so much greater than we now seem to be.  And in the midst of cursing recrimination is the crowing cockerel.  The alarm call of our brokenness.

There is a place for such weeping, such cursing.  But Easter holds out the promise that on the other side there is the possibility of restoration, of breakfast and a walk along the beach.  And Christ's question that cuts to the quick: "Do you love me?" (John 21:17).

David McNeish