Easter Devotion 34

Forgive me, Lord, for the times I have doubted. Teach me to believe and trust You in every situation.


John 21:19, He said this, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. When He had said this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”


Following the Last Supper, Jesus predicted that Peter was going to deny Him – and Peter was emphatic that such a thing would never take place. No, he would never do that! He could not fathom turning his back on Jesus, let alone verbally denying that he even knew his Lord. And while Peter took all the heat for going back on his word in that scenario, the fact is that all of the other disciples said the same. They all claimed to be willing to die with Jesus, yet only one disciple – John – was present at the cross (John 19:26).


So, we have Peter saying he would never disown Jesus – with the result being absolute shame when that’s exactly what Peter did. Following Peter’s denial, everything escalated very quickly when Jesus was arrested. The mobs were yelling. There were beatings, nails, and the cross. The disciples scattered. The people mocked. Everything was chaotic and out of control.  And then Jesus was dead and buried in a tomb. There was no chance to make things right. There was no taking back the denial. Peter must have been devasted.


Following such a shameful and public failing, Peter went back to what he knew. He returned to fishing. Perhaps, as he sat in the boat, he replayed in his mind the years spent with Jesus. All we know is that when John recognized the resurrected Jesus and said, “It is the Lord!” Peter dove right into the water (John 21:7). The others may have been willing to row to shore, but Peter didn’t have time for that. He had to get to Jesus.


After a conversation in which Peter declared his love for the Savior, Jesus offered him an Easter gift. It came in the form of the very same command that began it all years before when Jesus first called the disciples. Jesus stood before Peter and said, “Follow me,” (verse 19). It was the gift of a new beginning. It was the assurance and the reassurance that Peter could still be used by His Lord.


The gift of Easter is that Christ’s mercy sees beyond our failings and loves beyond our shame. Our pasts do not render us useless in the hands of God. Our mistakes do not cancel His mission to seek and save. As you see the small gifts and sweet mission to seek and save. As you see the small gifts and sweet tokens tucked into Easter baskets this year, remember the much larger gift you’ve been given: redemption. Let go of the lies that say you’ve messed up one too many times. Resolve to accept the Easter offering and choose to follow Him.