Knowing the conclusion of a tense situation alleviates the drama, uncertainty, anxiety, and fear accompanying that situation. The saying, “hindsight is 20:20” echoes this principle. Because we know the outcome of the events of the Bible, it is easy to “predict” how we would have responded in some of those pressurized situations. Well, 2000 years ago, during the time between Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection (sorry to spoil the surprise), the disciples must have had all kinds of feelings swirling inside. They were in disarray. They were discouraged, bewildered, and even afraid for their own lives.
I think Judas and Peter would have been the most affected. Judas, as Jesus predicted, betrayed Jesus for a little bit of money. “Ever faithful” Peter actually denied Jesus 3 times while Jesus’ informal trial was going on. Jesus had even warned Peter just several hours earlier. Peter, in total indignant disbelief of the accusation, said he would never deny Christ. In fact, Peter proudly proclaimed he would actually lay down his life for Jesus before ever denying Him.
As we know, both Judas and Peter screwed up big time and rejected Christ. But then each of them had to make a major DECISION. They could receive God’s forgiveness, love, and victory over sin, put their trust in Him and in His Son who died for them, and rejoice. Or they could let sin defeat them, wallow in guilt, self-pity, and misery, and even kill themselves.
Judas relied on his own abilities and resources. Realizing how flawed and impotent those were to deal with his actions, he decided nothing could overcome his despair, guilt and shame, so he killed himself. Peter relied on God’s abilities and resources. Realizing how perfect and omnipotent they were to deal with his actions, he chose to repent, follow God, glorify Him, and live a victorious life.
We face this same decision every day. We are sinners and we sin a bunch, rejecting or betraying Jesus every time we choose a “my will be done” mentality instead of a “thy will be done” mindset … rejecting or denying Him as we choose a different love. It might manifest as an addiction, a dysfunctional attitude or mindset, relational harm, or choosing not to forgive. There no end to the list of ways in which we exalt our own need for comfort above Christ, thus denying Him as Judas and Peter did.
Today, choose to side with our victorious Savior. Don’t be faked out by Satan who wants you to believe your situation is bleak, your actions are irreparable, and Jesus is not victorious.
Judas killed himself … Peter became the rock of the early church that revolutionized the world. What will you decide? If you choose to act like Peter, don’t let your decision be once and done. Make it an intentional, daily decision. Achieving your God-given potential and getting the love, joy and peace you strive for depends on your daily discipline. Following Him in mind and action is your decision, so choose well.
O gracious Father, I confess that even though I have You on the throne of my heart and mind intellectually, in reality, I often reject Your Lordship and put my selfish desires, agendas, and need for comfort on the throne of my heart. Thank You so much for the unconditional forgiveness that You extend to me, even when I reject you big-time, or over a long period of time. Like the incredible father who received his prodigal son, You open Your arms to me every time I return. Then You throw a feast and bless me beyond my dreams. I ask you to energize me with Your amazing greatness and goodness. Grow me to be as gracious to others as You have been to me. I pray in the name of the One who stood up for me, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Luke 22:61,62
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:1-3
Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. Matthew 27:3-5