First, he screamed and he kept screaming until he could scream no more. Then he fell off a cliff into the abyss of broken souls. He crashed with a force that could have moved the earth. Around him lay fragments—the new and hideous replacements of his former self. Shame replaced love. Cowardice replaced faith. Hope was driven out to make room for the mocking predator. Worst of all was the deep despair he felt as he saw his destiny plunge into a black hole of regret.
This all happened the day after Jesus died.
To survive, Peter virtually became a robot. He reverted to fishing. It’s what he was programmed to do. It’s what he knew best. He went through the motions to avoid every feeling, suppressing every emotion.
The difference between Peter and Judas Iscariot is razor thin. The fever of despair and regret raged in Peter every bit as hot as it had in Judas. It drove Judas to suicide. Why not Peter? Why didn’t he do what the other traitor did? It was because Jesus had prayed for him.
Satan told Peter a lie. Peter not only believed that lie, he now embodied it. And, it is the same lie that Satan is telling America right now—the lie that all the important things are gone forever.
Whenever those who hate God and America try to enforce a change, they call it ‘THE NEW NORMAL.’ They sold us on ‘THE NEW NORMAL’ of abortion, same sex marriage, and godless education. Their latest excuse for seizing control is the coronavirus. Something to remember: ‘the new normal’ is always nothing other than the old abnormal.
Peter was tortured by memories. Though he tried to fight it with all his might, it was impossible not to relive those days. Two mistakes haunted him the most. Thinking he could save Jesus, he had taken a sword and had swung it at the head of the high priest’s servant, Malchus, who, fortunately had moved just in time, losing only an ear. But his greatest horror was his discovery that he was a coward, and that he had denied Jesus three times. The rooster was still crowing in his spirit.
The hardest thing for Peter to forget was the day he met Jesus. Peter had been minding his own business when Jesus interrupted his entire life. After fishing all night, Peter had caught nothing. His hands were red and sore from handling the heavy nets. Every muscle ached. He had nothing to show for a brutal night out on the water.
Then the strange Teacher said, “Let your nets down again for a catch.” Peter half-heartedly did as he was asked, and the catch was so enormous that it terrified him. He begged Jesus to keep His distance, “I am a sinful man!” Peter cried.
That’s when he heard the words about his destiny. “Follow Me and I will make you a fisher of men.”
There is no doubt that Peter was convinced that now, after his failure and denial, it was too late. That fact must be clearly understood or you will not get the impact of the lesson I am about to relate.
It’s dawn on Resurrection Sunday. Peter couldn’t know that at that very moment, an angel was talking about him. Mark 16:7, “But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that (Jesus) is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He told to you.” The angel added the words “and Peter.” Why? Because God knew Peter would have disqualified himself if the invitation was “for disciples only.”
Peter grabbed the messenger who related this to him and demanded: “Are you certain the angel said my name?!” “Yes, the words were, “Tell the disciples, and Peter.”” At that moment, Peter came back from the dead. He knew he was not rejected. He knew the unmatched glory of a true second chance.
Satan had worked hard to prevent Peter’s apostleship, because he knew this man would shake the gates of hell. The first shaking came on the Day of Pentecost. The wind and fire of the Holy Spirit’s baptism transformed Peter
The coward, who had denied his Lord three times, was lovingly restored by the resurrected Jesus. He appeared to Peter, giving him three new chances to affirm his love. Jesus even provided a charcoal fire similar to the one near which Peter had experienced failure. Peter was completely transformed. He was now a lion carrying a devastating witness. He roared, “This is that which was spoken by the Prophet Joel!”
In the days after Jesus died, evil exerted a crushing blow on the entire city. All the Christians hid in their homes behind locked doors, and it’s like that today. Satan wishes to crush our hopes and dreams. Evil men would sell us the lie that we must adapt to a grim, cold, and dark lesser vision of America, the church, and our futures.
Those who are marked by God are unstoppable. When the doors reopen for America, God will fully restore our destiny.
But there is one miracle that remains to be explored. Cutting off Malchus’ ear haunted Peter. But there was more to it than just healing an ear. Because, my friend, that night Jesus healed more than an ear—knowing the future, Jesus knew Peter must not be sitting on death row on the day of Pentecost. Jesus prayed “permit even this” and reattached the ear, in order to protect Peter’s destiny.
Right now, He is also guarding yours.