At the Last Supper, Jesus predicted Peter’s future denial of being one of his disciples. He told Peter that before morning, “before the rooster crows twice, you yourself will disown me three times.” (Mark 14:30 NIV). That night, Jesus was taken prisoner by the high priest and their guards. And Peter watched as the man who he knew as a miracle worker allowed himself to be beaten and tortured by lesser men. Jesus had healed the sick, made food appear from thin air, and miraculously escaped authorities in the past, yet now he seemed to be powerless to stop the horrendous acts that were being done to him.
Peter had to be wondering what was wrong. Why was Jesus failing to use his God-powers to stop the travesty that was taking place in the courtyard of the high priests? Because of his confusion, when a servant girl of the high priests accused him of “being with that Nazarene”, Peter was quick to deny any relationship to Jesus. In fact, he even denied knowing Jesus two more times, as Jesus predicted, before the rooster crowed twice that morning. Are we any different than Peter when others wonder if we are “with the Nazarene?” Is there a certain group of people we don’t tell about our relationship with Christ? Coworkers, non-Christian friends, close relatives; do we skirt the issue around these people?
Peter denied his association with Jesus because he did not understand how the Redeemer of Man was finishing the work that needed to be done. And while today’s Christians cannot physically show the Risen Christ to nonbelievers, we can confess that we do know Him; that we are “with the Nazarene”, fully believing the Word of God as it is written in the Holy Bible.
Sin has always demanded a penalty, and sacrifice has always been the workhorse that demonstrates a person’s love for another. A father provides for his family because he loves them. A mother nurtures her children because she adores them. And followers of Jesus Christ are with the Nazarene because we truly believe and trust that He is who He claims to be, that He is the only path to Heaven, and that without His work, all would be lost. If we are not “with that Nazarene”, then we are lost and unworthy of the rewards stored up in Heaven. I think about that every time I hear a rooster crow, and you should too.
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