There are moments in my life that I vividly remember. They aren’t moments of great success, but moments of great failure. We want to remember our victories, but I think it is all the more important to remember our
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!
Jesus called his disciples, his friends, to recognize the authority and power of Jesus Christ and to fear him. And yet in the moment of temptation being confronted with a choice to acknowledge his allegiance with Jesus before men, he denied Christ.
Peter even invoked a curse on himself saying, “I do not know the man.” And after uttering these words, immediately the rooster crowed. And there in that courtyard, Peter remembered the words of his friend and Master, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. This was a moment that Peter would never forget. I know because I have those moments in my life when I have denied my Lord and Savior. And in those moments of betrayal, I remembered the words of Jesus Christ, and wept bitterly. Have you been there? Have you betrayed the Lord?
The weeping and the grief over our betrayal is a gracious gift of God. Our grief reminds us of our need. Our shame reminds us of Savior who bleed and died. Listen to what Paul says of godly grief in 2 Corinthians 7-9-10:
As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
Paul wrote a difficult letter to the church so much so that it produces grief in the church, but Paul rejoiced because the grief causes the church to repent. Godly grief and sorrow is the first step towards repentance. Godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation.
Peter grieved because he betrayed Jesus Christ. His grief would lead him to repentance. We read in Luke 22:61 that after Peter denied Jesus, the rooster crowed, “and the Lord turned and looked at Peter.” Peter looked into the eyes of his Savior and was filled with a deep, godly grief. The grief in his heart caused him to weep bitterly. Beloved, godly grief is a gift from God. If we do not mourn and grieve over our sin and our betrayal of God’s righteous law in our lives, we will never experience salvation for godly grief produces repentance that leads to salvation. Have you ever wept bitterly for your betrayal of Jesus Christ? Weep, mourn and grieve over your sin. And know the purpose of our grief is to lead us to the cross.