In Christ’s gaze on Peter the night He was arrested, we learn an important personal lesson.
[Darris McNeely] Christians who observe the biblical Passover described in the Gospel accounts are right now in the middle of that season. Last night was the 14th day of the month, the Passover service for Christians who observe the Passover according to the New Testament pattern. It’s a very personal event for anyone who observes the Passover in the manner in which Jesus did that with His disciples on the night before He was crucified.
As I think about the Passover from time to time I go back to a story that is from the Gospel of Luke where Christ predicted to Peter that before the night was out he would deny Him, Christ, three times, which Peter did. After Christ was arrested Peter followed Him around to the home of the High Priest. And in Luke chapter 22 it shows, beginning in verse 54, that particular story where twice Peter denied Christ and on the third time when he said to the man there around the fire in the courtyard, he said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying,” when it was pointed out that Peter had been with Jesus. “At that moment,” it says in verse 61, “The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times’ ” (Luke 22:54-62 Luke 22:54-62 54 Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off.
55 And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.
56 But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked on him, and said, This man was also with him.
57 And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.
58 And after a little while another saw him, and said, You are also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.
59 And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean.
60 And Peter said, Man, I know not what you say. And immediately, while he yet spoke, the cock crew.
61 And the Lord turned, and looked on Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, Before the cock crow, you shall deny me thrice.
62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.
American King James Version×).
I like to imagine that in that gaze where two pairs of eyes met, the eyes of Christ and the eyes of Peter, there was a moment of intense scrutiny and introspection, especially on the part of Peter. The account shows that Peter wept bitterly and went out. Peter, however, came back and became a major apostle and one of the twelve who took the gospel to the world. But in that moment on that night Peter saw something about himself that he had not seen before. And it was in that look from Christ that it all came home to him.
And so as I look at that for the Passover in examination at this time of year, I have to understand that Christ’s gaze is upon me. And that helps me to not only prepare for the Passover, but to prepare to let my life be one that is patterned after that of Jesus Christ as He lives His life in me.
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