Over 2000 years ago the Son of God was being praised and hailed as they shouted, ‘ Hosanna in the Highest’ as they waved their palm branches. The following week the same crowd was shouting ‘Crucify Him, Crucify Him!’ Christ was then nailed to a cross. How could this be?
Do you you remember when Peter one of Jesus’s disciples walked with him, yet Jesus told him after the rooster crows you will deny me three times! When Peter realized what he did, he went out and “wept bitterly”. Simon Peter was a confident, self sufficient disciple. He even told Jesus duringvthe last supper with the disciples, he would never deny his Lord!
Perhaps you are bitter or angry at God blaming Him for the cards you have been dealt in life or what has happened to you recently. We can be tempted to make excuses, blame others, or even blame God and try to squirm out of a situation that we chose on our own free will. Notice the crowd shouting Hosanna and giving praise to Jesus, only to shout with anger, “crucify him”!
We tend to love Jesus more by human nature when everything is going fine in our lives; yet God loves us unconditionally always even when things are not going right in our lives. Life has many chapters and roads where the road gets tough and we have to face these challenges. It is human to wrestle with doubt andcthecfears we face, but to allow us to become bitter causes even more problems and at times even health issues.
Peter experienced God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. After the resurrection Jesus meets with some of the disciples including Peter. A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.
John 21:17 NLT
Jesus spoke not of a natural human love but an “agape” love. God’s love which is unconditional. Jesus then went on to tell Peter to “follow me”. Peter committed his life and was used as one of the greatest Apostles of the faith. He knew who the true Rock was Jesus Christ his Lord and Savior.
It has been known in church history that Peter himself was martyred, crucified like Christ. In the aposlte Peter’s humility, it is said,, “that he was not worthy to be crucified standing up and was crucified upside down.
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Matthew 16:15-18 NKJV
“Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone,
Ephesians 2:20 NKJV
Jesus died not because of the hard hearted, bitter, selfish, angry people; but to do the will of His Father in heaven. His love and forgiveness was displayed on the cross for you and me even to this day. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8. We have been redeemed from the wrath, fears, punishment of God because we simply believe and put our faith and trust in Christ Jesus alone. The power of God’s agape’ love and forgiveness restored the Apostle Peter and his faith. God can and will do the same for you too.
Holy week will be soon upon us my friend may we walk softly and reflect on His unconditional love and bless those around us.