Impetuous Peter and Me
By Gail Casteen
the worst event of your life, knowing exactly what is coming and
how very difficult it will be. Now imagine, while struggling through
that dark moment, helping a friend and a foe in one selfless move.
It is hard to fathom, but it happened and is well documented.
It was in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus had been betrayed with
a kiss and was being led away into the night to stand a mockery
of a trial. In his best effort to protect his Messiah, Peter pulled
his sword and severed an ear from the head of a soldier. Then
Jesus made a highly unpredictable move. He touched and healed
the man's ear!
When Jesus restored the ear of that soldier, He changed the lives
of two men forever. Of course, being the man of compassion that
He was, Jesus certainly saw this soldier suffering and in agony
from such a brutal wound. Even though the soldier was a 'bad guy',
the love and compassion of Jesus reached beyond what the man was
doing to the fact that he was hurting and needed healing.
When I was a child, I could not understand why Jesus would help
someone who was there with the intention of hurting Him. I knew
I could never be as loving and forgiving as Jesus and was not
certain I wanted to try. As an adult, I am thankful for the grace
and mercy He extends to me when I am the bad guy.
Another man’s future was changed that night. Jesus courageously
rescued Peter that night. There Peter stood, bloody weapon in
his hand, somewhat frustrated that he had missed his mark …
the soldier's head. Yet, his pride was perhaps somewhat pacified
by the fact that he had made a notable statement of his allegiance
to the Lord. He was more than willing to fight to protect Jesus.
In the moment between landing the blow and Jesus restoring the
ear, Peter realized the consequences he would have to pay for
that action. He probably saw what Jesus did for him the instant
it happened. When Jesus healed the soldier's ear, the evidence
that would have supported prosecution for the attempted murder
of an officer of the law vanished. There would be no argument
in court against Peter regarding that incident. He was acquitted
before he was accused!
Much in the same way Peter did that night, I commit a punishable
offense, yet Jesus steps in and rescues me. It is after I have
done the damage that I see His action on my behalf has removed
the evidence against me. My slate has been cleared.
In Lamentations 3: 21-23 the Bible says,
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because
of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions
never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I hear Jesus' voice ringing in my head and heart, "Father
forgive them, they know not what they do." Here I stand,
undeserving, wrong, yet loved completely. He reaches out with
compassion and mercy to heal and deliver me. His acts of love
and compassion effectively restore and renew me.
When I am called to step up to the Judge's bench, there will
be no evidence to hold against me ... "Just as if I had never
sinned." He declares me “NOT GUILTY!”
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