My name is Peter. I am one of Jesus’ original followers. You remember me as the one who talked too much. I could make three mistakes before the rest of the group could open their mouths. I had good intentions, but I was so impetuous they often took the form of humiliating mistakes.
I was haunted for a long time by memories of that night in the courtyard. Jesus was in trouble; He was being interrogated by some high church officials. It looked like He might be punished, maybe even crucified. If He was condemned to die what might happen to the rest of us? We were all in a panic. In time, some of the bystanders recognized me. I thought I was a goner. And when a young woman alerted the group to who I was – one of His followers – I lied and said I didn’t even know Him. A memory like that will scream in your ear for a long time.
I thought I might pass out when I heard that wretched rooster crow. I don’t think the others heard it. But I did. Jesus had told me that before the rooster crowed three times I would deny I even knew Him. I knew He was mistaken. There was so much chaos in the courtyard I don’t think I even heard the first couple of times he crowed, but the third time, I did. It rocked me to the depths of my soul. I was sure I had just forfeited all the promises He had ever made us. How could His grace ever apply to one as weak as I?
For the next two and a half days we were all in a fog. They did crucify Him. He did die. I was there; I saw it. They did bury Him. Friday afternoon. John and I ran to the grave early Sunday. He had said He would arise, that the grave could not hold Him. Rumors were everywhere. Then we saw Him! I wasn’t sure how I should act, seeing what I had done. But we were hiding in a private little room, and suddenly He was there. I couldn’t grasp it but I couldn’t deny it. He was real; He spoke to us. I touched him.
Later that evening I met with His followers again – to talk, to remember, to pray, to wonder. I finally decided to go fishing and maybe clear my head. All night; nothing. When John wrote this story I asked him to include a statement I was sure many would miss. It said, “Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore…” It’s early in the morning that roosters crow. Jesus wanted to make sure I heard it. I can’t prove this, but I’m sure I did. That’s when He re-commissioned me, gave me opportunity to assure Him that I did love Him, and He sent me out on assignment to tell His story to the world. Every morning when the roosters crow I am reminded that even though I messed up my past, He gave me a new tomorrow. And ever since, I have loved to hear the rooster crow.
By Don Jacobsen (hope-heals.org)