The gospel account of Peter denying Jesus Christ three times is one of the most dramatic moments in all of the Bible. What thoughts must have gone through Peter at that moment about himself and about his inadequacies all are something for us to think about as we ourselves prepare for the Passover.
[Darris McNeely] We are approaching the Passover, a very solemn evening that commemorates the death, the suffering of Jesus Christ as the Passover Lamb and as your Savior, and as mine. In the lead up to this, I’m going to begin a series called “Could You Deny Christ?”. I think that is a question that each of us need to examine personally and as we look at what the Scriptures tell us about the central role of Jesus Christ in God’s plan of salvation. I think all of us know that on the night that Christ was betrayed and arrested, Peter, who has a role as a unique, kind of a leader among the other apostles, had come to a moment where he saw himself in a way that he had never done before. Earlier, Jesus had said that Peter would deny Him – Christ – three times, and Peter denied that that would ever happen. He thought that he was above anything like that. But on the evening Christ was arrested, and as Peter followed Him around from the places that Christ was led that night, we find in the gospel accounts that Peter actually did that.
Actually in Luke 22:54 Luke 22:54Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest's house. And Peter followed afar off.
American King James Version×is the account that brings it down in a very poignant manner here, beginning in verse 54 to 62 (Luke 22:54-62 Luke 22:54-62  Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest's house. And Peter followed afar off.  And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.  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.  And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.  And after a little while another saw him, and said, You are also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.  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.  And Peter said, Man, I know not what you say. And immediately, while he yet spoke, the cock crew.  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.  And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.
American King James Version×). “Having arrested Him,” meaning Christ, “they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance,” watching what was taking place. And “they kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, ‘This man was with him also.’” She recognized Peter for who he was as one of the disciples. But, verse 57, “Peter denied Him, saying, ‘Woman, I do not know Him.’” That’s the first denial, verse 54.
A little while later, “another saw him and said, ‘You also are of them,’ but Peter said, ‘Man, I am not!’” That’s denial number 2. Verse 59, “Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, ‘Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean,’” – meaning Peter, and he was. “But Peter said, ‘Man, I do not know what you’re saying.’” That’s number three. “When he spoke this, immediately,” the Scripture tells us, “while he was speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He has said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.’ Peter went out and wept bitterly.”
It’s one of the most dramatic moments in all of the gospels, actually, in all of the Bible – where Peter denied Christ three times and on that third time, the Lord turned and looked across that courtyard, into the eyes of Peter, and Peter literally, essentially, melted before His Lord. And he left bitterly.
The thoughts that must have gone through him at that moment about himself and about his inadequacies all are something for us to think about as we ourselves prepare for the Passover, and to remember the suffering and the death of Jesus Christ. Join us on the next in this series when we will talk more about the question, “Could you deny Christ?”
That’s BT Daily. Join us next time.