Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-33
Psalms 22, 40, 54, 95
1 Peter 1:10-20
John 13:36-38, 19:38-42
Today is Good Friday, and Jesus has died. How does one respond to the fact that the God who created us, who breathed life into us, came to earth and died for us? It’s so difficult to get one’s mind wrapped around that fact. And yet, it is so.
I think Peter is one of the world’s favorite Bible characters because he is so flawed. We can identify with him so well. He follows Jesus, learns from Jesus, challenges what Jesus says, is scolded by Jesus, promises to die for Jesus, and yet, when he faces the reality that his dying could actually happen, he denies Jesus.
I’m not sure that I would have acted any differently in Peter’s shoes. I know I’ve done my fair share of things I’m not proud of, all the while professing to be a person of faith. I think this is true for so many of us. We are faithful people following Jesus. We have something happen that we don’t understand, so we protest – maybe even blame God for what has happened. We go to church on Sunday and repent and refocus our devotion to God; then, after we leave church, something happens, and our response isn’t exactly Christian. We say we’ll be faithful, come what may… then something happens that is infuriating, and we aren’t faithful all over again.
All the while, we are aware of the fact that Jesus died for us on this day. We are aware that our relationship with God cannot be broken no matter what we do. We are aware of God’s great
love for us that cannot be changed or lessened in any way…. And we are so eternally grateful.
We may not always show it, but we, like Peter, do the best we can. We live our lives as faithfully as we can; and, when we make mistakes, we always come back to God because we know the price He paid for us and that His expression of love for us is overwhelming.
We have hope that if Peter, who did so much wrong, was also forgiven and restored – to the point that he became the first Pope of the church -- that we, too, will always be forgiven and restored… and who knows, maybe we can have a ministry of forgiveness that can change the world – just like Peter.