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April 10 – Forsaken by friends

“But Peter said, ‘Man, I do not know what you are talking about.’ And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.” – Luke 22:60

Scripture reading: Luke 22:54-60, Luke 23:32-43

First Judas betrayed Jesus and now Peter denies Jesus. Peter was sure he would never do such a thing, but Peter shows us what happens when we rely on ourselves. J.C. Ryle writes, “The best and highest saint is a poor weak creature, even at his best times.” No matter how strong we might feel or godly we might appear, we are often on the edge of falling hard into sin if we do not watch and pray and if the grace of God does not hold us up.

Now Christ will face the cross alone. The cross was a symbol of being cursed by God. Jesus would be nailed to the cross and, though innocent, everyone around would mock Him and no one would come to His defense. Isaiah 53 says, We esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions. That is the amazing part! Jesus endured rejection by man and God in order to give grace to those who by nature rejected Him.

Two criminals hanging near Jesus also mocked Him. Later, one had his eyes opened to see that Jesus had done no wrong. This stranger received grace. See how our rejection does not prevent Christ from bringing salvation? He still is the Lamb Whose blood was shed to take away the sins of the world. Peter would weep over his sin, and as you consider Christ crucified today, weep for your sin, for godly sorrow produces a repentance that leads to salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10).

Suggestions for prayer

Confess your sin and your need for Christ to suffer and die on the cross. Praise the Lord for willingly being rejected so that we may be forgiven and accepted by God in mercy.

Rev. Simon Lievaart is a pastor for Bethel United Reformed Church of Smithers BC. He and his wife Jodi have four children.

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