Volume 5 No 2
How often as Christians, don’t we beat ourselves up when once again we sin, falling short of the perfect law of God? In our humanness we doubt Gods ability to be able to continue to love us because of our sin. But this is faulty theology; God’s love for us is unconditional, and his forgiveness is complete.
Have you ever wondered how would you have reacted if you had been present at the crucifixion? Most of us would like to think that we would have done something - stood up for, or at least remained beside Christ. Hopefully we would not have shouted “crucify him” but like the rest of the disciples we would probably have run away or just watched helplessly as our Lord died on the cross.
There is an incredibly encouraging story that takes place as an aside to the crucifixion, and involves the disciple Peter. We see Peter vehemently denying that he would ever deny Christ, who tells him before the cock crows he would have denied him three times. The early hours of the following morning find Peter warming himself besides a fire, staring deeply into the coals. Three times he is asked, ‘aren’t you too one of his disciples?’ and three times he denies it... and then the cock crows. (John 18:16-27)
Christ dies on the cross. Days go by. You can only imagine how bad Peter felt for not having been counted with Christ, deserting him when he most needed his friendship and support. Feeling totally dejected he goes back to being a fisherman, heavily burdened with guilt. After Christ reveals himself to the disciples while they are trying unsuccessfully to fish, we see another fire of coals, this time made by Jesus to feed them. Surely these coals must have reminded Peter of his denial of his Lord? But does Jesus reprimand Peter? No! In fact he doesn’t even mention it directly. But he does empower Peter, entrusting him with the future of his church and asks him three times to feed his flock... echoing “I forgive you, I forgive you, I FORGIVE YOU!” (John 21:9-17).
As you read thru this issue of Face to Face, may God’s love touch you, his Spirit be a salve to your sinning heart, and may you more fully understand Gods unfailing love for every one of us.