Last night at the Alpha course as we talked I had a revelation from God, we where talking about when Peter denied Christ and then about Judas betraying Him.
69 All this time, Peter was sitting out in the courtyard. One servant girl came up to him and said, “You were with Jesus the Galilean.”
70 In front of everybody there, he denied it. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
71 As he moved over toward the gate, someone else said to the people there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene.”
72 Again he denied it, salting his denial with an oath: “I swear, I never laid eyes on the man.”
73 Shortly after that, some bystanders approached Peter. “You’ve got to be one of them. Your accent gives you away.”
74-75 Then he got really nervous and swore. “I don’t know the man!”
Just then a rooster crowed. Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went out and cried and cried and cried.
It come to me that there was something here I had not thought about before, they both denied Jesus and who He was. Also that the rest of there story was different so as a group we looked at that difference and similarity.
They both denied Jesus but then Peter broke down and cried knowing what he had done and that Jesus had already known that he would. Judas Planed his betrayal and afterwards released what he had down and gave the money back, but his sense of guilt was to much and he killed himself.
So why the difference?
Peter Knew he could be forgiven, yes he had failed a test of his faith, but his long relationship with Jesus allowed him to know that he could be forgiven. This was confirmed to him later when the risen Jesus asked him how much he loved Him. Judas however had such a sense of guilt that he did not think he could be forgiven. He wanted to undo what he had done rather that learn from it. In the end his own guilt drove him to despair and death.
As a group we talked about this and realised that that was also true within the group and other we knew. Some can learn from there denial of Jesus and others think that they are beyond forgiveness.
It was a great insight to Gods love, He forgave Peter and made him the rock of the church, I wonder what Judas could have become if he had been able to forgive himself and ask God for forgiveness?
There is nothing you can do which will but you outside of Gods forgiveness in Christ. However there is plenty you can do to stop yourself asking for it. God uses the most ordinary of us even those who have denied Him and use them to further His church, His plan for us all. Isn’t that great.