The tone in your voice was so confident. I leaned in to listen to you, and I could tell that you were determined and captivated by the manner in which you delivered your pledge to me. You communicated with such passion and sincerity. When I heard your words, however, a tinge of nauseous pain ran down my spine and rested in the pit of my stomach. Although your words were an expression of devotion and love to me, they were built around a devastating vacuum. Your words carried tremendous width, but no depth. I was aware of this, but you were not. I greatly desired to believe your convincing pledge of devotion, but I dreaded what was soon to follow. Yes you pledged your love to me, but you never realized the cost of this love.
Little did you know that you would actually be the first causality of your own pledge.
You didn’t realize the purer the love, the greater the disdain. You had never encountered a love this pure, and you simply weren’t prepared for the disdain that we would receive as a result. I warned you, but you were blinded by your own self determination.
When I was being accused, however, you became more concerned about what my accusers thought of you. Seeking to defend yourself, you actually forgot about me. What was happening to me did not dawn on you until you met my gaze and remembered my warning. It was then that the weight of your denial pierced your own heart. Thankfully, you were broken in all the right places. It was in those places of brokenness that you would become strong again and strengthen your brothers and sisters.
The best part of separation is reunion, and the love expressed in our reunion was one that will be told for the ages. It completely overshadowed your abandonment. This time, your pledge of devotion to me was not hollow. There was now substance behind your words, and it meant the world to me.
“But he said to Him, “Lord, with YOU I am ready to go both to prison and to death!” And He said, “I say to you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.” (Luke 22:33-34, NASB, emphasis mine)
“Simon Peter followed Jesus, as did another of the disciples. That other disciple was acquainted with the high priest, so he was allowed to enter the high priest’s courtyard with Jesus. Peter had to stay outside the gate. Then the disciple who knew the high priest spoke to the woman watching at the gate, and she let Peter in. The woman asked Peter, “You’re not one of that man’s disciples, are you?”
“No,” he said, “I am not.”
Because it was cold, the household servants and the guards had made a charcoal fire. They stood around it, warming themselves, and Peter stood with them, warming himself…Meanwhile, as Simon Peter was standing by the fire warming himself, they asked him again, “You’re not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it, saying,
“No, I am not.”
But one of the household slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Didn’t I see you out there in the olive grove with Jesus? Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.” (John 18:15-18, 25-27, NLT)
“After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.” “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time.
He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep”. (John 21:15-17, NLT)