Have you ever done something as a Christian that made you feel so hypocritical and ashamed that you weren’t even sure how to move forward from it? You’d find yourself thinking “I can’t believe I did that.” “Can God even forgive me after this?” “Will God forgive me?” “What do others think about Jesus now because of my actions?” “How will other followers of Jesus react when hearing about this?”
Judging from today’s Jumpstart post, we’re not the only Christians who have been in that position and asked those convicting questions. If there was a disciple who passionately pursued Jesus it was Peter. He was always one of the first people to answer Jesus and stand up for Jesus. From walking on water to cutting off a Roman Centurion’s ear, his affections for Jesus and faith in Jesus were well chronicled. What also is known about Peter is how often he stuck his foot in his mouth with that same affection and faith for Jesus. The same guy that was ready to fight the Roman guards to protect Jesus two days ago was now denying His Lord and Savior, not just one time, not two times but THREE times (anyone else picturing Lebron James’ Miami Heat ring promises when reading this? Just this Cleveland fan, ok then.)
It would easy to read this and judge Peter if it wasn’t for how many of us connected with the opening question and our internal thoughts when dealing with our own hypocrisy. Let’s be honest, we’ve all been there. Everyone of us. Sometimes we deny Him with our words, sometimes it’s our actions. Maybe it’s our lack of compassion in a certain situation or maybe it’s us being deceptive but of “good motives”. Whatever the case and whatever the time, we’ve been there. And if you’ve made it this far and had the same reaction as Peter—where he wept bitterly and repented—then you’re in a good place. Because none of us will be perfect and there’s grace. Grace big enough to use Peter to preach the Gospel to save 3,000 at Pentecost and grace big enough to use you once again.
It’s encouraging to know that some of the Bible’s biggest “heroes” were some of the biggest hypocrites because it gives us hypocrites an answer when we’re asking how can we move forward from our shame. There’s grace. And when Peter was asked to deny Jesus again later on in his life, instead of denying Him three times, he said crucify me upside down for Him, I’m not worthy enough to be crucified the same way as my Savior.
Let’s move forward in that same type of grace, repentance & faith.
By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor