Along the way, Jesus talks to the disciples, preparing them for the coming ordeal, and says, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night.” (Matt. 26:31a NKJV)
Peter stops dead in his tracks, turns to Jesus and declares, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” (Matt. 26:33 NKJV)
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to have you, to sift you like wheat, but I have pleaded in prayer for you that your faith should not completely fail. So when you have repented and turned to Me again, strengthen and build up the faith of your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32 TLB)
Laying His hand firmly on Peter’s shoulder, Jesus continues, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know Me.” (Matt. 26:34 NLT)
Peter, grasping Jesus’ hand and falling at His feet, cries out to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” (Matt. 26:35 NKJV)
As Peter follows so closely that Jesus can detect Peter’s breath, they all leave this scene and enter the garden of Gethsemane, where the events of the evening play out. The soldiers arrive and arrest Jesus. As they lead Him away, Peter follows.
On their way to appear before Caiaphas, the soldiers stop before the assembled chief priests and scribes in the high priest’s courtyard. Peter slips over to join the servants warming themselves by the fire in the courtyard.
Three accusations unfold, followed by three denials.
The words of his precious Lord echo through Peter’s mind and stab him in the heart: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”
The saddest moment of Peter’s life is then exacerbated as the Lord turns and looks at him.
Oh, what a look that must have been. And “Peter went out and wept bitterly.” (Luke 22:62 NKJV)
How chilling that crow must have sounded; how grievously Peter’s heart must have pounded.
Was that the end of the crowing? Doesn’t a rooster crow each morning?
Wouldn’t that cock-a-doodle-doo pierce Peter’s ears and heart each dawn as the enemy’s condemnation, a reminder of his failure?
But wait! What was that noise three days later…on resurrection morn? Didn’t the cock crow that daybreak also? Did Peter’s heart change that day?
In the years that followed, did he continue to hear that daily crowing as the enemy’s memento of opposition to his heart’s desire to serve the Lord or as the Lord’s resurrection reveille to rise up out of despair and serve Him?
Does the enemy crow in your ear? What does he bellow at you? Condemnation of your past? How unworthy you are? What a stupid thing you did? You’re a failure? Why would anyone want to hear what you have to say? You’re a lost-cause at business? You’re a terrible spouse or parent?
Or do you hear that triumphant shout of resurrection morn? Telling you that you have victory over your past? That the Lord gives you strength for each task? That you are blessed beyond measure? That you are loved more than you can comprehend? That you are a delight to your heavenly Father’s heart? That you can do all things through Christ?
Does each dawn’s awakening cry encourage you, as “His mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lam. 3:23 NLT)?
Which crow are you listening to…the enemy’s attempts to crow in opposition to all that you do, or the Lord’s resurrection reveille to rise up out of despair and serve Him?
In the chilly dampness of the early morning hours, the woman gropes her way through the dark city streets of Jerusalem. Carrying only a small oil lamp to light her way, Mary Magdalene is joined by Joanna, Salome, and Mary, the mother of James. Leaving the city, they wend their way to the dew-moistened garden where Jesus had been buried.
Dressed in their mourning apparel and blurry-eyed from their tears of grief, they enter the garden of the tomb, carrying the spices to anoint Jesus’ body.
The first glints of sunlight peek over the horizon as they approach the tomb. The ground shakes violently as an angel appears and rolls back the large stone covering the tomb’s entrance. The angel says, “Do not be afraid; Jesus is not here. He is risen! Go and tell the others.”
Terrified, Mary Magdalene rushes to get Peter and John and returns with them to the tomb. With their hearts pounding in fear and lungs struggling for air, the men enter the tomb and frantically survey the surroundings until their eyes rest on the stone slab, where only the death cloths lay.
Seeing that the body of Jesus is not there, the disciples rush back to tell the others.
While the other women wait outside the tomb, Mary Magdalene stoops down to look inside. With tears streaming down her cheeks, she turns to leave and encounters a man, who asks, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”
Assuming him to be the gardener, “‘Sir,’ she asks, ‘if you have taken Him away, tell me where you have put Him, and I will go and get Him.’” (John 20:15 NLT)
“Mary,” He whispers compassionately.
Recognizing a familiar voice, she gasps, “Rabboni!” and falls at His feet in worship.
I have been a Mary Magdalene. . .a follower of the Lord yet not being able to find Him. I wandered around for relentless hours, with stinging tears spilling down my cheeks, weeping in pain, sorrow, and loss. I searched the tomb of the world and found it emptied of dreams, hopes, and purposes.
My restoration came when I realized my Saviour had stood beside me all along, compassionately whispering my name. When I heard His loving voice, I fell at His feet in worship.
Have you ever been a Mary Magdalene? Do you weep over loss of dreams, hopes, or purposes? Pain, sorrow, or circumstance? Do you stand at the tomb, wearing the grave clothes of mourning, wondering where Jesus is?
Just as Mary Magdalene met Christ in an unexpected way, so your Easter experience comes to you in your hour of despair. Jesus will be there beside you to comfort you, compassionately whispering your name and asking, “Why do you weep? Whom do you seek?”
Jesus always brings you hope of resurrection as on that first Easter morn. He comes to lift you up, to wipe away your tears, to release you from your pain, to remove your grave clothes of fear and depression.
Jesus says to you, “Do not wear the grave-clothes stained with the tears of grief. Come into My garden of beauty and I will give you the robe of Easter’s resurrection gladness. Take My Hand and let Me lead you along the path to life everlasting. I gave My life that you might live eternally with Me.”
He says, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 NKJV)
Do you believe this? Then, weep no more! Fall at His feet and worship Him!
May you know the power of Christ’s Resurrection Life in a deeper way this Easter season.
This is an inspirational video of celebration. I hope you’ll watch it.
Today’s post is part of the Christian Writers Blog Chain on the topic of redemption/resurrection. Check out and enjoy the other contributors’ posts in the left sidebar.