EXPLORING THE WORD
Completely Forgotten, Entirely ForgivenDenise M. Kohlmeyer
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Soon John came back and spoke to the doorkeeper who then motioned Peter in. He entered the courtyard and sat down with the guards. He could see Jesus a short distance away, surrounded by the chief priest and the whole council. He could hear people falsely accusing Jesus. But one by one they were dismissed. Then two men stepped forward and explained what they had heard Jesus say: "This man said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days'."
Jesus didn't deny it.
"Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God," the high priest demanded.
Peter held his breath.
"You have said so," Jesus replied. "But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven."
The high priest raged. He ripped Jesus' robe. "Blasphemy! What is your judgment?"
"He deserves death," the council cried. And they began to spit, strike and slap Jesus.
Peter watched horrified from where he sat. Then his attention was diverted by a servant girl. "You also were with Jesus the Galilean," she said.
"I do not know what you mean," Peter stammered.
Another servant girl agreed.
"I do not know the man."
Yet a third person said, "Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you."
Swearing and cursing, Peter screamed, "I do not know the man!"
Somewhere a rooster crowed.
Peter wilted. Jesus' earlier prediction —that he would deny Him three times before a rooster crowed — had come true. Peter ran from the courtyard, weeping bitterly.
The next days had been a nightmarish blur for Peter and John. They'd heard that Judas had hanged himself. They'd listened for any news about their Jesus, hearing that He had endured a sham of a trial before Pilate the governor. They had listened in disbelief as the people had cried "Crucify Him" and then witnessed the murderer Barabbas being released in exchange for their Master, Rabbi and Friend.
They had then stood silently, helplessly along the narrow stone road as Jesus had labored wearily under the weight of a cross. Although He'd been given help by a man from Cyrene, the going had been excruciating, for He clearly had been beaten. A wreath of thorns had encircled His head. Droplets of blood and sweat had poured down His body as He struggled onward.
But the worst was yet to come.
The lots being cast. The mocking. The jeering. The insulting plaque above His head. The spear thrust into His side. The darkness. His final cry, "It is finished."
His death. His burial.
It had all been too, too much.
But here He was now. Nine days later. Whole. Healed. Wonderful.
He had risen. Just like He said.
And now He had just called to them from the shore. Just like He had done three years earlier. Inviting them to follow Him. Now—today — to fellowship with Him.
No reprimands. No finger-wagging. No, "How could you betray Me like that? Why did you desert Me?"
No. None of that.
Here they were now. Reunited. Restored. Redeemed. Recommissioned: "Go, feed My sheep."
What had happened earlier, in the past, was completely forgotten, entirely forgiven.
Image Credit: heathertruett; untitled; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Salvation | Biblical-Truth | Jesus-Christ | Sin-Evil
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