Peter’s Guilt… Our Guilt

Luke adds a chilling phrase to his account of Peter’s denial of Christ. When the cock cowed, “the Lord turned and looked straight at Peter..” (Luke 22:16) The rooster reminds Peter of Jesus’s warning. Peter lifts his eyes and looks across the courtyard, only to find Jesus looking at him. Jesus is being assailed by accusations, yet He hears the denial of His disciple.

If Peter ever thought he could keep his fall a secret, he now knows he can’t. In Hebrews 4:13 the Bible tells us that “Nothing in all the world can be hidden from God. Everything is clear and lies open before Him, and to Him we must explain the way we have lived.” We keep no secrets from God. Confession is more than telling God what we did. He already knows. Confession is simply agreeing with God that our acts were wrong. Did Peter do this? Again let Scripture speak: “And Peter remembered what the Lord had said: ‘Before the rooster crows this day you will say three times that you don’t know Me.’ Then Peter went outside and cried painfully.” (Luke 22:61,62)

Each tear is a confession, each sob is an admission. Peter remembers the words of Jesus and sobs deeply. We do ourselves no favors in justifying our deeds or glossing over our sins. We want to hide our sin. And one wonders if God, even in His great mercy, will heal what we try to conceal. In 1 John 1:8,9 the Bible reads: “If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, He will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right” (1 John 1:8,9)

Going to God is not going to Santa Claus. We don’t just sit on God’s lap and He asks, “Have you been a good little boy or girl?” We giggle, “Yes.” and then tell Him what we want, jump down and go our way. That won’t work with God. Have we been guilty of trying to hide something from God, even when the Holy Spirit has been convicting us? May we not follow Peter’s example of denial or try to justify the deed. Instead, let’s submit to Christ in obedience and holiness!

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