Yesterday we saw how the glorified Lord went out of his way to dispel Thomas’ doubts. Today we see him reassuring Peter.
If anybody needed this, it was Peter. He had vehemently denied knowing Jesus. And he denied him only a few hours after he had boldly declared he would faithfully follow Jesus even to the point of death. But it took only a simple statement by a simple servant girl to have him fold like a deck of cards.
We can only imagine how Peter’s guilt must have been eating away at him, even though he had heard Jesus speak warm words of peace to the gathered believers. But Jesus didn’t have to imagine how Peter felt. He knew. So, a week or so later, he came to Peter to salve his troubled conscience. He asked Peter three times if he loved him. This obviously was to remind him of his three-fold denial. Jesus did this, not to dig the knife in deeper, but to get all of Peter’s festering guilt out.
What is truly remarkable is that Jesus followed it up each time with a command to Peter to feed his lambs and sheep. In other words, Jesus reinstated him as his apostle! He doesn’t put Peter on probation. He doesn’t give him a plan to make himself worthy again. Instead, he immediately calls him to serve in this most important way.
Talk about a love that is truly out of this world. Peter’s denial must have been like a sharp spear piercing Jesus’ heart. Fewer things are more painful than having a loved one deny even knowing you. Fewer things are more difficult to forgive and forget.
But that is exactly what Jesus did. And this is how he treats all his believing children. Listen to the wonderful words of Hebrews 10:
“Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.”Hebrews 10:17
Friends, Jesus has forgiven you. Believe it. Then thank him by giving him all the credit for your salvation.
How do you know if you're forgiven?
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What is Easter all about?
If Jesus had remained in the grave, we would be left to wonder whether our Father in heaven accepted that payment for us. But because of Easter, we have certainty.