Have you ever messed up? I mean like really messed up. To a point where you are looking around to see if someone or a camera caught you in the act. And when you are sure no one saw you, and no cameras were around, you promised yourself you are burying this deep in the recesses of your soul and never speaking of this again. Like the one time my driveway was iced over (which hardly ever happens in Texas so I don’t know all of the rules of how to behave on an iced driveway), and I was walking to my car so I could warm it up for the drive to work. Two steps in I had an epic fall. I said several curse words, and unsuccessfully tried to grab a hold to everything I could see. I fell and hurt my whole left side. To make matters worse I had my brand new iPhone in my pocket and heard a crack. Like any other human the first thing I prayed was “God please let that be my leg!” I looked around to make sure no one was watching and to make sure no cameras caught this for my great grand kids to talk about for generations. For the longest time this story was just between me and God. I have no idea why I am sharing this with you now except to say, I buried this deep and in that moment on the ice just wanted to disappear.
But what about those horrible things that we do that only we and God know about. When we wish evil on someone, or looking at that very questionable website, or changing a few numbers on our taxes, or told a lie to get out of a situation and it actually works. Those things that we are ashamed that we did. We are glad that no one knows and even wish that God would just forget about it. I can only imagine this is what Peter felt like after Jesus was betrayed. It’s story time with Uncle Cool Breeze. Allow me to summarize what happened. John 18: 15-18 and 25-27 Jesus had just been betrayed and all of his disciples fearing for their lives just disappeared and left him on his own. Jesus told Peter that he would deny him three times. Knowing Peter he probably hit him with the #JesusisBae text with three heart eyes emojis saying he would NEVER do that. But sure enough, around a fire, he was asked “Aren’t you one of the disciples?” The first time Peter was like “nah, fake news bro!” Someone else was like “Are you sure this is not you tagged in this Instagram photo with Jesus and 11 other guys #squadgoals #disciplesforlife?” Second time Peter denied him “that’s photo-shopped, I never met the guy!” Someone else said “Isn’t this you in this YouTube video feeding 5000+ people with like 1.2 billion views?” For the third and final time Peter said “I don’t know this dude!!” The rooster crowed and Peter just wanted to disappear. I am not sure this is historically accurate but I am sure he started looking around for cameras to see if it caught him in his shame. (Legal disclaimer: I am paraphrasing and also Instagram and YouTube were not available in bible days so please do not write me mean theological letters).
This leads me to my all time favorite verse Mark 16:7, but go tell his disciples…and Peter. I like to insert my name whenever I mess up, “Go tell his disciples and Prescott”. He wants me to know that he sees me in all of my shame and disgrace. He sees me when I lie, when I lust, when I disobey, when I disrespect, and when I procrastinate. He wants me to know that he sees it all and he loves me anyway. I don’t have to live with the condemnation, because when I shake my face at the fist of God he doesn’t strike me down like I deserve. Jesus loves me. Jesus forgives me. Sometimes I ask my wife: Hey wife, do you love me? and she says “maybe”. Then I slide a cupcake in her direction and ask “how about now?” And usually she says “Yes, now I do!” The good news most people don’t realize is we do not have to do anything to receive the love of God. Redemption can be yours. No matter how bad you have messed up in the past God still loves you. This brings me so much peace. So go tell his disciples and (insert your name here) that it’s ok. It’s time to let it go and move on. Come home to God and receive your redemption and find some rest. If he can forgive Peter and me he can do it for you. Don’t take my word for it just try him for yourself.