Thursday, January 16, 2020 -
An inmate I’ve gotten to know today preached in our weekly chapel service, looking at the example of Peter in John 18-21 when dealing with the guilt of our sin. I found it very interesting. Peter, after having defended Jesus with the sword, followed Jesus at a distance as they took Him away (Luke 22:54). Peter warmed himself at the fire but ended up denying Christ three times before the rooster crowed, just as Jesus predicted. Then Jesus, in the midst of being beaten and mocked, turned and looked at Peter. Peter went out and wept bitterly (Luke 22:61-61). He didn’t merely confess his sin, but was so remorseful he shed truly contrite tears.
But then, after the crucifixion and resurrection, Peter, John, and some others of Jesus’ disciples were fishing on Galilee, all night long. But, as before when Jesus first called them, they had caught nothing (see Luke 5:1-11). They did what Jesus suggested as prior, casting their nets on the opposite side, and again, were inundated with fish. Peter then realized it was the Lord onshore, jumped into the water, and swam to shore. And there was Jesus next to a charcoal fire, having already cooked them breakfast.
Here was Peter once again, warming himself, no doubt in front of another fire, drying himself. Jesus gives Peter an opportunity to declare his love for Christ three times, once for each of his previous denials. But Peter had already been forgiven, for between the two fires, two significant things had taken place. Peter wept tears of grief over his guilt, and Christ had died on the cross of Calvary bearing the sin Peter bore, rising again from the dead in three days. Peter was freed from the burden of his guilt and his sin as a result. Christ has already paid the penalty for your sin as well. He’s just waiting on your tears of repentance. No matter your guilt, Christ is waiting to forgive and for you to make Him Lord of your life!