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Peter walked away from the fire but his face was still burning hot. The young girl that accused him of knowing Jesus was following close on his heels. There was no stopping this meddler. He tried to tell her he did not know Jesus. A rooster crowed once outside the gate.

As he crossed the darkened courtyard, he could see her from the corner of his eye, creeping up beside him. “That’s him,” she shouted for the second time. “You were with that Nazarene criminal, I saw you with him!” Peter tried to hush her up, looking around to see if anyone heard her. Once again he denied that he ever knew his beloved friend. He could tell by her expression that she wasn’t convinced.

The next few moments happened so quickly it seemed like a blur to Peter when he tried to recall them. He went back to the fire to warm his hands and someone said, “You must be one of ‘them’ because you talk just like him.” (Mark 14: 66)

The big, burly fisherman lost all control and began cursing and swearing, turning abruptly to the cluster of men huddled around the flames. “I’m telling you I never knew that man!” he bellowed.

In the silence that followed, you could have heard a pin drop. Instead, the second call of a rooster crowing fell upon Peter’s ears. And this frightened, lumbering disciple began to cry as the words of Jesus echoed in his mind. “Peter, before the rooster crows twice in the morning, you will deny me three times.” (Mark 14: 30)

We all know the chain of events that follow this story. The trial of Christ, the beating, the shame, the gouging crown of thorns, the cruel death on the cross. Our dear Savior shed his blood so that we might be forgiven of our sins if we will only believe upon Him.

Fast forward to that glorious resurrection morning. Mary Magdalene, Salome and the other Mary were going to Jesus’ tomb to sprinkle his body with spices. They were startled to find the stone was rolled away from the cave, and an angel greeted them. (Mark 16)

The angel told them Jesus wasn’t there, but He was alive! Then he told them to run and tell the disciples. And the next words out of the angel’s mouth testify to the concern and unparalleled love that Jesus has for every one of us. The angel said, “And tell Peter!”

Jesus knew Peter was so distraught after he turned his back on Jesus that night. He knew he wasn’t eating or sleeping. But as soon as Jesus folded his grave clothes and headed down the road, his thoughts turned to Peter. He sent an angel to give Peter this message of love and hope.

Just as He remembered Peter, you and I are also on his mind. That very same message is true for us today. He loves us, no matter what we’ve done. No matter how many times we’ve denied Him, He wants us back. He died and arose again so we can have a relationship with Him forever. Let’s accept his gift of eternal life.

Theda Workman writes from Tornado.

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