Easter is behind us, but I’ve been thinking about what the scene must have been like in Jesus’ day at this time.
Everyone was talking, the buzz in the marketplace and the courtyard and synagogue. He had risen and this Jesus was making surprise appearances.
And there’s Peter. The big emotional man who had been swept up in the drama of Jesus’ arrest and subsequent execution.
His denial was huge.
He had turned his back on his friend and the man he had pledged his life’s efforts to. Sworn to go to the death, Peter went down in a whimper.
Trembling now that Jesus’ predictive resurrection had come true, the disciples ate bread in wide-eyed amazement. But Peter had the sinking feeling. They both knew the awkward truth. So, it was time for the question. It could have been, “Why? Why did you deny me? Why did you violate our relationship, our trust?”
I’m sure Peter was expecting that question. And for me, the “why” question is the absolute worse. Usually, there’s no good answer. All the why’s seem so weak since my decision was probably based on some knuckle-headed selfish cover-up.
But Jesus didn’t ask Peter why. And amazingly, he didn’t ask for any penitent acts. He didn’t ask for any hailing of His name, good deeds or promises of repentance.
He just asked Peter if He loved Him.
Do you love him?
There is something about that word when properly applied in an environment of grace that shakes the foundations of the earth, rumbles through our preconceptions, that destroys the walls that divide.
Like Peter, I’ve been a bad friend, a bad husband, and a bad follower of God. I’ve lied and deceived and made selfish decisions. And others have turned their back on me. We’ve tried every other solution, and they all seem to fail. There’s no other answer, but love.
Peter was never the same. In fact, he went to his death suffering the same crucifixion as his Lord, only refusing to be upright. An upside down ending to a life turned around. He would never be the denier again.
So, I feed sheep, looking for morsels of grace, mercy, and forgiveness.