Matthew 26:26-46; Deuteronomy 1-2; Job 4
How do we betray people? Judas turned Jesus over to the authorities. Peter denied knowing Him. Both betrayed the relationship that Jesus had built up with them. Both the betrayal and the denial were predicted by Jesus. “’I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.’ But Peter declared, ‘Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.’ And all the other disciples said the same.” (Matthew 26:34-35) In our hearts we would all proclaim to be true to Jesus. We would all be ever faithful to God. In truth, though, I deny Him in different ways at different times. I don’t speak for God when there is opportunity. I do things that I know are wrong because those things bring me temporary pleasure, even though I know that I will have regret later. I don’t deny Jesus in the courtyard, as Peter did later in the story, but my words and actions deny my relationship with and my trust in God. But the story goes on. Judas, in his remorse, committed suicide thinking there was no hope for him. Peter, in his remorse, sought grace and forgiveness from Jesus. He received it and became a great leader in the Church. It is a core belief of Christianity that each one of us turns away from God. We call that sin. The follow up belief is even more important: there is grace, hope, and forgiveness for all who turn back to God. May we all experience the forgiveness that Peter experienced after denying Jesus.
Lord, I do betray You and I do deny You far too often. I pray that when I do that, I will remember to turn back to You. Grant me grace and forgiveness as I turn back to You and let me restored life show others Your love and grace.