All of us have moments in our life when we have allowed our ego to get the best of us. We feel mistreated, so we lash out. Usually, the lashing out is simply fear in disguise, and is an attempt to protect ourselves from shame or humiliation. It’s a defense mechanism.
When you look at the life of Jesus, there was one disciple in particular who had a little more proximity with Jesus than the other disciples did. His name was Peter. Jesus spent a massive amount of time with him. But the thing about Peter, was he was a little reckless. He would make loud proclamations of how he would never abandon Jesus. He even cut off the ear of the high priests’ servant, when the soldiers came to take Jesus away to be crucified. You could say Peter had a pretty hefty ego.
Be Careful what you wish for
Once Jesus was crucified, ALL of His disciples scattered, including Peter. The same Peter who boasted so much in his devotion to God. In fact, when some little girls recognized Peter while the soldiers were out trying to find all of the disciples, Peter actually DENIED having any relationship with Jesus! THE MOST EPIC FAIL.
Easter is the celebration of Jesus rising again three days after being crucified, but there are stories within the story that get missed. Peter, who had a massive ego (sort of like all of us can have), felt like an absolute failure. Peter felt ashamed of what he did in abandoning Jesus. He made loud proclamations of courage and zeal for God only for them to completely crash and burn when those promises became tested.
Peter. Had. Completely. Failed
One morning, some women came to the tomb of Jesus only to find that it was empty. As they walked in, they were awestruck to see an angel standing where Jesus once lay. In seeing their fear, the angel proclaimed to the women, “You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee.”
Did you catch it? The angel mentioned someone specifically in this passage. He mentioned Peter. The angel mentioned the disciples but he made a special point to mention Peter. The one who had completely failed. Peter was overwhelmed with shame and guilt and Jesus wanted Peter to specifically know, that even though he failed, Jesus still wanted to be close to him.
That is unbelievable news! The Easter story is the crux of the entire Christian worldview. Jesus actually did live, die, and rise again, just like He said He would. Because of that, we, like Peter, get grace. Unmerited favor and love in the midst of our failings, shame, and humiliation. The freedom to be lovable even when we do things that would disqualify us from love. So wherever you are in your journey. Remember God isn’t ashamed of your past. Even if that past was 30 years ago or 30 minutes ago. He love you right now, and will forever.
Here’s to Loving the Process,