This Easter, our challenge is to write part of the Easter story from the viewpoint of one of the characters of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.
“I Know Him Not”
I am Peter, who greets you in the Name of Jesus.
I’m here to tell you about the darkest night of my life.
Jesus had been arrested. In the deep of the night, John and I watched in the distance as the mob bound Him and took Him to Caiaphas, the High Priest.
I followed John and crept into the courtyard to watch events from a distance. The girl at the door stared at me. I felt uncomfortable.
“You’re not one of Jesus’ disciples, are you?” she asked.
|"I Know Him Not" (Jerusalem)|
“I am not,” I said, a little too loudly.
Charcoal burned in the fire pit, its orange glow lighting up the courtyard. I felt a coldness that was more than just the night air. As I stood warming myself, a servant girl eyed me closely. “Didn’t I see you with Jesus when they arrested him in the olive grove?” she asked. “Didn’t I see you cut off my cousin Malchus’ ear? You were with Jesus of Galilee—you’re a Galilean,” she said.
I rubbed my face as if trying to warm it up. But I knew it was an attempt to hide my embarrassment and involvement with Jesus. “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” I shouted.
Someone else chimed in. “Don’t tell a lie. You’re one of His followers. We can tell by your Galilean accent and your rough clothes. Why would a Galilean follow Jesus’ arrest tonight if he weren’t a Jesus follower?”
“I don’t know the man!” I said. I swore, too. Ugly, vehement curses that echoed through the courtyard.
Just then the rooster crowed. I caught sight of Jesus, His hands tied behind His back. Our eyes met. He looked deeply into me and His words rang in my ears, “Peter, before the rooster crows in the early morning, you will deny Me three times.” Suddenly I remembered boasting hours before: “Even though others desert you, I never will.”
What had I done!
I crept to a hidden place and wept bitterly.
There, wave after wave of memories rushed through me.
At Jesus’ Transfiguration, I blurted out that we should make tabernacles—for Jesus, Moses and Elijah—before I even gave Jesus a chance to explain what was happening. Oh, my mouth was so quick to speak of my "brilliant" ideas.
Then God’s voice boomed out, “This is My Beloved Son. Listen to Him!”
I heard, but I didn’t listen. Not then or later.
Once I even rebuked Jesus as if I were wiser than He. “You won’t suffer and die!!” I didn’t understand why He was so emphatic to say, “Get behind me, Satan!”
I even slept in the Garden when Jesus needed me. And then I ran away—deserted Him when He was arrested. I as much as thought, “Too bad for you! I need to save my own skin!”
And now I denied Him—not once, not twice, but three times, just as He predicted!
What did my blustering and bravado and boasting mean now? I had failed Jesus.
~ ~ ~
As I look back on those moments, they were crucial for me. My bitter tears became my first redemptive steps back to Jesus.
But at the time I thought this was the end of my usefulness. I could never be what Jesus asked me to be—a fisher of men
So I went back to fishing.
And there Jesus met me. “Simon, do you love Me?” He asked. He even used my old name. Not Peter the Rock, but Simon “the one who hears”. Three times He asked if I loved Him. Three times! I was disturbed. Didn't He know I loved Him? Then I understood—one question for each time I had denied Him.
“Then feed my sheep…Feed my lambs.”
I felt His forgiveness and grace. He was restoring me to a right relationship with Him.
But more, He was refitting me for the great leadership He would have for me—but now I would go in God’s power after I was filled with the Holy Spirit.