Oh Lord, what have I done?
You told me this would happen, and I just couldn’t see it.
Is there any hope for me; someone who would deny you and walk away in such a crucial moment?
I couldn’t even stay awake to pray when you asked me to. Would that have changed anything?
At the very least, if I had stayed awake in the garden… if I had not denied him, all I would have now would be grief – not guilt and grief.
It’s hard to imagine the gravity of emotion Peter must have felt in the days after Jesus died. Sure, it was only a couple of days. But when you put yourself in the disciples place, I’m sure it felt like an eternity.
Those dark days were long enough for the adrenaline of Jesus’ trial, torture, and death to wear off; long enough for them to feel the absence of their friend and leader; long enough for the enormity of the situation to sink in, leaving only unanswered questions and fear.
Lots of fear.
But, like I try to tell my kids when they are feeling particularly afraid – good always wins in the end. It may really seem like evil has finished the game, but that means it’s not over.
Tomorrow morning, Resurrection Sunday, we will celebrate the living Christ. We will celebrate the continuation and fulfillment of Jesus’ story. We will celebrate the ultimate good vs. evil story, and the end is already set.
Peter did not have to live out his life feeling guilty, wondering if Jesus would still love him after all his doubting and failing.
And neither do we.
It’s really not such a foreign question, is it? It’s not for me anyway. But those doubts and fears, and general feeling of unworthiness are already anticipated and paid for.
Jesus has already done the work to make us right with him.
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
It is finished.