Truly Amazing Grace

October 6, 2011

I have been copying down the book of Matthew (Maybe someday I will put up a post about that). As I go through this book I am blown away by the things Jesus said and did. Well yesterday I finished writing the twenty-sixth chapter and let me tell you, it is full of emotion.

Several events happen all one right after another. Jesus has his Passover meal with this closest friends and then next thing you know He is on trial with the Pharisees! It just all happens so fast.

Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, followed the mob that arrested Jesus and has been standing at a safe distance. But then he is noticed, not by one, not by two, but by three different people as someone who was with Jesus. Each time Peter denies it. He denies being with Jesus and he even denies even knowing him. This is a man who has been with Jesus for 3 year. They grew close. When Jesus would draw away from the crowd but still wanted people with him, Peter was one of the three He would choose! And now, just to save his own skin, Peter denies knowing a close friend.

Then the rooster crows. Just as Jesus had predicted Peter denied Him 3 times before the rooster crowed. Now in the Matthew passage all we get is that Peter remembered the words of Jesus but this is how Luke records it in chapter 22:60-61, “Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, ‘Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.'”

We are told that next Peter ran away and wept bitterly. Well of course he did! He just betrayed a friend. When Jesus needed someone there the most, Peter denied Him. Jesus knew it was going to happen and maybe even worse, He knew the exact moment it did, and He made eye contact with Peter then.

Have you ever received that look? When a friend knows that you have betrayed the loyalty of your friendship? Or have you ever given the look? That is one of the worst feelings out there. Having to deal with the shame of betraying a friend or knowing that you have been betrayed. It cuts to our very core!

Want to know something amazing though? Jesus forgave Peter! He died for Peter’s sins, and He and Peter later talk and Jesus lets it be known that He has forgiven Peter. Peter even goes on to be a great leader in the early Church. Forgiveness is so freeing.

This forgiveness, this grace is offered to each of us. It may take a while for our friends to offer it, but Jesus extends His hands to us and lets us know that we can be forgiven. We can experience His grace, and what amazing grace it is!

His grace is sufficient. There is absolutely nothing you can do to disqualify yourself for the grace of God. If you are willing to submit to Him and confess that you need His grace, it is there waiting to be given. Peter betrayed our Lord, and yet Jesus still forgave Him.

His grace is offered in love. It is not because Jesus feels like He has to dish over the grace because you asked. “Well Peter wants me to forgive him so I guess I should.” NO! Jesus loved us enough to come to this earth to die for us! He continues to love us today and He is just waiting for us to love Him back.

His grace is not a one time deal. It is not as though we are offered this grace one time and then we can never be forgiven again. God offers it to us over and over again. He knows that we need it and He loves us to much to not offer it. So never think that if you become a Christian and receive God’s grace that if you ever mess up again you are back out. That is just not the case. Repent, and then keep moving towards Christ.

His grace is amazing. It is complete. We do not have to feel the shame of our sin anymore. Christ bore that burden on the cross! We are free from sin and should live that way. We should tell the news to those we know and even those we just meet! It is freeing and perfect! What are we waiting for?

How have you experienced God’s grace in your life? 


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