Peter's three-fold denial of Christ was only a few hours away, but it was no secret to Jesus. We see here how tenderly He prepares the way for Peter's repentance and restoration. "Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man (which Peter was soon to do), it will be forgiven him." Jesus intended to hold those who were His own until the very end.
I wonder if Peter remembered these words after the cock crowed. Did he consider whether or not he could be forgiven? Peter's failure was so devastating to him that he avoided his fellow disciples. His shame isolated him and robbed him of the forgiveness and love he so desperately needed. It was Jesus who sought him out, who brought him back. Peter had spoken against Jesus, but forgiveness was available from the very One he had wronged.
That's good news for me, because I, too, will fail Jesus with both my life and my words, and do so far too often. Forgiveness was bought at a terrible price. I should not take it casually, as if it were of no consequence, but I should not avoid forgiveness because of its great price.
We've all failed our Lord and will do so again because of the battle between sin and righteousness that wages within us. We may lose a skirmish in the war against sin, but we do not have to stay defeated. Forgiveness is available.
The remainder of this passage contains some hard words, and we will deal with them tomorrow. For today, let's praise God that our failures can be forgiven and our sin-fractured relationship with Christ can be restored.
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:56-58 NASB)
Thank you, Lord, for the promise of forgiveness. I admit my failure and the words that I have used to deny You. Forgive me and restore me to relationship with You. In Jesus name, Amen.