This blog post is a part of an ongoing series leading up to Easter by some of our artists here at Faith Bible Church. During Holy Week, they will present the story of Christ’s death and resurrection through artwork displayed in our auditorium. Join us April 3, 2015 to pray through the Way of the Cross and encounter and be changed by Christ.
I've read the story of Peter denying Christ many times but this time, in preparation for Faith’s Scriptural Way of the Cross installation, I understood more deeply how, like Peter, one responds to the confrontation of their own soul.
After Jesus was seized, Luke 22:55 says “they had kindled a fire in the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them.” As I read this seemingly innocent statement, it struck me that Peter sitting down with those who wanted Christ dead was an act of betrayal itself, foreshadowing what was to come.
The first person to identify Peter as having been with Christ was a servant girl. What first drew her to identify Peter was when she saw him “seated there in the firelight.” Light has a way of exposing what is in the dark. The fire not only symbolizes the light which existed within Peter due to his fellowship with Christ, but also the conflict Peter would soon face. 2 Corinthians 6:14 poses the question well, “What fellowship can light have with darkness?”
Peter then leaves the fire and moves to the entryway of the courtyard. In Matthew’s account the entryway is described as a gate. It would have been darker and the traffic of people would help disguise him so that he could get lost in the crowd. Peter’s attempt to hide was short-lived as he once again was discovered and confronted about his knowing Christ. Peter denies Him a second time. In our best efforts to run from our circumstances and even our own selves, we cannot hide from the truth.
According to Luke 22, the third and final account of Peter denying Christ was said to take place an hour later. While those around him insisted he had been with Jesus because of his accent, it’s also plausible that amidst conversations with others during that time, they recognized something even more profound, the voice of their Messiah. Peter was Jesus’ disciple after all.
Here we find Peter in a real battle over his own soul. Internally conflicted and aware of his own undoing, he is confronted a final time about knowing Christ. Yet again, Peter denied Him. In that instant, the rooster crowed and he wept bitterly.
I wonder if others recognize the voice of Jesus in me? Is my speech such that others know I have been with Him? Can they tell I, too, am a follower of Christ? Like Peter, we all must confront our fear of man and face the fact in every situation we will either profess Christ or deny Him with our words. By Wendee VanOrder