Till Thou Hast Denied Me Thrice

John 13:36-38.

Simon Peter said unto Him, Lord, whither goest Thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow Me now; but thou shalt follow Me afterwards.

Peter said unto Him, Lord, why cannot I follow Thee now? I will lay down my life for Thy sake.

Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for My sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied Me thrice.

March 2018 – Seated in Heavenly Realms

Peter, demanding as always, wanted to know WHY he couldn’t follow wherever Jesus was going right now! He clearly didn’t understand yet what Jesus was saying. Jesus was speaking of His return to the abode of the Father, His return to heaven. Peter wanted to go, too, although he had no idea to what Jesus was referring.

Wouldn’t you have wanted to follow Jesus? Especially if you understood that Jesus was talking about returning to heaven, wouldn’t you like to go with Him? But would you be willing to go through all that He endured on His way back to the Father?

Jesus had said, (my own words) “You can’t follow Me now, but you will later on, when all this is over and you have finished your work on earth. THEN you will join Me in heaven!”

But Peter didn’t hear that part. He wanted to go with Jesus now. Even, he said, to death. “Lord, I will lay down my life for You!”

How confounded and horrified Peter must have been when Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied Me thrice.”

(In my own words) “Peter, I’m telling you the truth. You will deny Me three times in the coming hours, before the rooster crows to signal the morning.”

Cockcrow was the third watch of the four Roman night watches, and took place halfway between midnight and dawn. It wouldn’t be long at all, on that fear-filled night for the disciples, before Peter would deny having any part with Jesus. He crumbled at the accusation of a servant girl.

Years ago, our church choir sang an Easter cantata in which I was assigned the alto solo, His Wonderful Look of Love. The song detailed this dramatic story of Peter’s betrayal and Jesus’ look of love and compassion. I’ve never forgotten the words, nor the emotion that shook my voice as I sang:

from
No Greater Love
by John W. Peterson.

1. I chose a path of sin and loss, apart from God above;
Until by faith I saw the cross and Jesus’ look of love.

2. I viewed His body on the tree and searched the thorn-crowned brow;
It seemed He spoke from Calvary, “For thee I’m dying now”.

Refrain to be sung after each verse:

His wonderful look of love; His wonderful look of love;
Made the teardrops start, broke and won my heart,
His wonderful look of love.

3. I could not spurn His love divine and careless turn away;
He saved this guilty soul of mine, Now I am His today.

His wonderful look of love; His wonderful look of love;
Made the teardrops start, broke and won my heart,
His wonderful look of love.

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