Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Matthew 26:34
What are you doing this evening? Trick or Treating? Celebrating the 501st anniversary of the Reformation with a cold brew? A combination? Neither of those two?
Tonight, as children go door to door wearing masks and costumes, full of color and dazzle, I’m reminded of the stark contrast of light and darkness. In the darkness of night, pumpkins will light up people’s porches. Costumes will sparkle in a car’s headlights, parents will stand on the sidewalks with a flashlight or glow-stick. Light penetrates darkness. Even in our souls.
Peter walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, learned from Jesus and even saw the miracles of Jesus! Yet, he was still a sinner and proved it when he denied Jesus three times before the rooster crowed. It was the night before Jesus’ death on the cross. Where true darkness enveloped the land. A spiritual darkness was present in addition to the darkness in the daytime sky.
Yet light shined forth. Light penetrated the darkness as Jesus asked God the Father to forgive the people. The blood shed on the cross was both blood of sacrifice as well as blood of victory…the victory of God! Sounds strange but there is where the punishment for our sins was fulfilled. There on the cross is both great sadness in what our eyes see, but great joy in what our souls feel…release!
In those moments when you’ve denied Jesus rather than denying yourself (Matthew 16:24) imagine the look of Jesus. Peter saw it (Luke 22:61). It convicts. Yet, with eyes of compassion, Jesus looks at us in love and forgiveness as we repent of our sin.
Dear reader, know that Jesus paid the price for all the times you’ve heard the rooster crow. Confess and find release. Then in the midst of God’s grace, may you and I reflect the light of our Savior’s forgiveness and love in this darkened world.