March 2nd, '18
rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson
then denied again; and immediately the rooster crowed" (John 18:27)
same Peter preached...
you denied the Holy One and the Just...and killed the Prince of life..." (Acts
Think those two verses through. Peter had just
denied ever knowing Jesus, even swore that he didn't know Him and then in a
sermon two months later lambasted the Sanhedrin and Jerusalemites for doing the
same. "But you denied the Holy One!" Uh, Peter, you too denied the Holy One.
Have you forgotten? Earlier, after Peter denied Jesus a rooster gave the altar
call that drew the backslidden preacher home. I can't interpret
cock-a-doodle-doo language but I think the rooster was crowing out, "Chicken!"
Yes, Peter chickened out and was confronted by a rooster, chicken to chicken.
"Peter went out and wept bitterly" (Luke 23:62). The repentance was genuine,
the restoration nothing short of amazing. Peter denied Jesus but Jesus never
denied Peter. He won't deny us in our failures either.
But here's the point, Peter was the master of
self-forgiveness. Not even two months had passed when he was preaching against
the very sin he had committed. Fact is, the past is the past. "Their sins, and
their iniquities I will remember no more" (Hebrews 10:17). What right have we
to remember what God has vowed to forget? Since Peter's record was cleared in
heaven he took it upon himself to count it cleared on earth. Others grovel, do
penance, rehearse their mistakes, kick and flagellate themselves over their
pasts. They walk with the head bowed, despicable worms, and we add to their
torment whispering and reminding, "He's the one that denied Jesus". But who
says a forgiven man has to cough up his pound of flesh? Religion would never
have allowed David to be king after the Bathsheba incident. True, he paid
dearly for his indiscretions but that is never enough for the Pharisees, they
want him placed on twenty years probation and would have plastered his name on
an internet sex offender's registry.
Don't misquote me. I didn't say we can forgive
ourselves so far as clearing our account with God. He being the offended party
is the only One that can grant ablution. The Bible always speaks of
reconciliation as being "between God and man", never man and God, because we
were the criminals. Too many people nonchalantly forgive themselves without
taking the issue to the courtroom of heaven first and that is wrong. But once
granted forgiveness we do not have to spend the next ten years in remorse.
Peter got on with life. Others could bring up his betrayal if they wanted to
but he wasn't going to acknowledge it any more. The denier-disciple could
rebuke others that denied Jesus with the same authority as any of the other
disciples because he had repented with tears. Plus, it doesn't hurt to see the
empty tomb and get a personal visit from the risen Lord. You may call that
hypocrisy. I understand if you do, but let me assure you, there will come a
time that you too will need to put something behind you and when you do Peter
will be your example of choice. I'm glad Jesus forgives. Sadly, many cannot
forgive themselves. Would it help to read it in black and white? "If we confess
our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us
from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). Don't take my word for it; take His.
Now start this morning with a clean slate.