In the upper room Jesus told Peter that he would deny him three times before the rooster crowed twice. Upon hearing this, Peter was deeply offended and he assured Jesus that he would die for him if necessary and that he would never deny him.
Hours later, the priests allowed John into the hall where Jesus was being accused in hopes that the scene would forever crush his faith in Jesus. John brought Peter with him. Peter chose to blend in at a distance standing close to a fire to stay warm; whereas, John attempted to position himself as close to Jesus as possible.
As Peter stood by the fire, a servant girl asked him if he were a disciple. Peter quickly said “no” and the rooster crowed once. Later the question was asked two more times and both times Peter said “no”. Upon the last request, Peter responded by cursing in hopes of providing indisputable proof that he was not a disciple. At that moment, the rooster crowed a second time and Peter's eyes connected with the eyes of Jesus just as a hand was coming down upon Jesus' face. In that instant, Peter saw a deep love and pity. The look quickly said, “Peter I still love you”. The scene was more than Peter could handle. He remembered the conversation in the upper room, and immediately his heart was filled with remorse. Peter then fled from the scene in bitter shame.
As I think about this story, I hurt for Jesus and Peter. They both needed each other at this difficult time; however, Satan was able to cause a separation. In the upper room, Jesus had foreseen that Peter was still too reliant on his own abilities, which when confronted by Satan's wrath was no match.
I can identify with Peter. Many times I have let Jesus down by attempting to rely on my own strength to overcome temptation. Although this story tears at my heart, it also gives me a glimpse into the depth of Jesus' love. Even after Peter violently denied, Jesus still loved Peter. Similarly, Jesus will never stop loving us no matter how badly we represent or offend him. I'm so thankful that I can fall on my knees and say, “Jesus, I failed again, please forgive me and continue to change my heart so that I can be more like you”.