Its the last day of Lauren’s notes for a while and I’m sure like me, you will have found some of the passages and thoughts very moving as we look at the final hours of the earthly life of Jesus. Thank you Lauren for the work you have put in, it has been really appreciated.
As usual the passage can be read here.
We’ve already looked at Peter’s denial earlier this week. It was earlier that night that Jesus had predicted it. It was just a few short hours ago Peter was declaring his readiness to go with Jesus to prison and death, and just a few short hours ago that Jesus was letting Peter know that (tonight at least) that wouldn’t be true.
Even if this were the first time we were reading Luke then, we wouldn’t be surprised by todays passage. We know what is coming.
But in the warning passage earlier, we also got to hear the outcome. We got to hear that Peter would turn back. But todays passage is just the dark – the light is a long way away.
“Woman, I don’t know him”
“I am not [one of them]”
“I don’t know what you are talking about”
I’m grateful for Peter’s story in the Bible. He gets lots wrong and lots right. Jesus loved Peter.
“Jesus turned and looked straight at Peter”.
What must that look have been like? In some ways we can’t know, and yet in other ways each one of us has felt the touch of that gaze on us. We have known Jesus’ all-knowing gaze into our lives, our hearts, our deep places. The blinding light of a radiant God, illuminating our darkness, sin and rebellion. Such a gaze first brought us to knowledge of our sin, to repentance and to Jesus for salvation.
What about now? Do we hide from that gaze? Do we hide from the conviction of the Holy Spirit? Do we anaesthetise ourselves with entertainment, filter what we will say and hear, avoid challenging one another on difficult issues?
Do we allow that gaze on our lives – that uncomfortable gaze?
When we feel that gaze exposing us, we are grieved by our sin. We repent, and we change. Jesus washes us and make us clean, and works to transform us into new people. He will do that for Peter, but first he will make the way for Peter to return. First he will go to the cross and will bring about the salvation which is bigger than Peter’s denial, and which is bigger than my sin and which is bigger than yours. He will defeat Satan, sin and death, and he will reign victorious, lifting us up with him.
That, however, is where we are going. For now in the story, the darkness is piling up. Jesus Christ, alone and denied, is now beaten, mocked and insulted.
As we read about what Jesus bore we remember that it was all for us. A cost we cannot reckon.
Sin is not a trifling matter then:
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”