Peter the disciple denies Jesus the Messiah. Not once or twice, but three times. Jesus predicted it would happen and it did.
“. . . And immediately the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he [Peter] went out and wept bitterly (Matthew 26:75).”
Jesus would later die for sin and rise for salvation as God, Savior, and Lord. Peter would later go on to preach to thousands and be one of the prominent leaders in the early Church. But I have a question.
How many times after Jesus’ resurrection do you think Peter heard a rooster crow? Roosters were an animal, in Peter’s day, that were everywhere and Peter probably heard them crowing all the time.
When his ears were met with the crows, he may have felt sick to his stomach. Maybe he had horrific flashbacks. Or maybe a nervous breakdown. Perhaps he had difficulty sleeping when he heard the crows at night. Thoughts like, “I’m an idiot! I failed! I’m the one who denied Jesus three times,” could have run through his head. Either way — perhaps everyday — Peter was probably reminded of his denial of Jesus by the crowing of a rooster.
How many of us have been through failed relationships, difficult circumstances, or made a horrific mistake and yet we cannot seem to erase it from our memory? The answer is — we all have. Everywhere we go, every single day, there is something that reminds us of something in the past that we want to forget. We all have those roosters in our life. And Satan wants them to crow.
The key in all of this to place our identity and security in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Our identity has to be strongly rooted in what Jesus has done for us and not what has been done by or to us. Whenever we are tempted to think of ourselves as failures, we have to remember what God the Father thinks of us: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased (Mark 1:11).” Because God is eternally pleased with Jesus, he will always be entirely pleased — no matter what we do! — with us.
The only thing that will help us in our battle of identity is the think deeply on the gospel. When your roosters crow, remember Paul’s words to the Romans: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). He’s talking to you. Live out of that and be free!
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