March 27, 2018

Matthew 26:31-56
Peter’s Story, by Brad Williamson

I remember how excited my brother, Andrew, was when he ran to me saying, “We have found the Messiah!” (John 1:41). Coming from him, I knew it was true. So when Jesus personally said to me, “Come, follow me,” I left everything I possessed: my fishing business, my boat, my nets to follow him.

He taught me so much. Three years together seemed like a lifetime. He was my best friend. So how could he say to me that night, “You will fall away”?

“Never.” Even if everyone else did, I would be there for my teacher; my friend; the Christ—the Son of God!

I stayed close to Jesus that night. It was late, well into the next morning. Yes, I admit I dozed off, but as soon as I heard the noise of the crowd, my senses were on edge.

What was Judas doing here, and why all the soldiers? When Judas kissed Jesus, one of the soldiers grabbed Jesus. I thought they were going to hurt him. I drew my sword. I would not fall away. I slashed out to protect Jesus. “Run, Jesus; I’ve got your back,” I thought.

After striking one of the men, Jesus reached out and stopped me. He rebuked me. “Why? I thought. We don’t know what they want.” I couldn’t let them harm Jesus. So I stayed close—in the shadows—as they led him away.

Thinking back, it was the worst night of my life. Everything I saw them do to Jesus. I didn’t know what to say or do. I didn’t know what would happen. I was afraid for my own life. When I heard a rooster crow, I immediately recalled Jesus’ words. I wept bitterly. It was only the beginning of what would ultimately happen to Jesus.

The good news is that the cross—and that horrible day—is in the past. On the third day, early that Sunday morning, the ladies came running to find me. “He’s alive,” they said! And it is true!

Just like Jesus forgave me, he offers his forgiveness to you. Will you accept his love? Will you give your life to him? Do you have a story like mine?

When life is reduced to the essentials, there are only two kinds of people in this world: those who have given their life to Jesus and those who have not. Which one are you?