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Have you ever gotten “the look”? Yes that look. The look of disappoint and disgust that cuts to the very core of who you are. Peter did. It wasn’t because he, told a dirty joke or farted in the crowd. It wasn’t because he was socially awkward or was never schooled by Miss Manners. Peter got the look because of what he did not do.
Peter was a faithful follower of Jesus. He was in the inner circle of Jesus friends along with the sons of thunder, James and John. Some would say he was the leader of the disciples.
Being the bold one, probably a complete extrovert, Peter was never afraid to speak up. Jesus tells the disciples “You will all fall away because of me this night”. Guess who answered.
Peter piped in. “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you”! Maybe he was trying to rally the rest of the disciples to a more unified front. Maybe he was overcome by his emotions and had to let Jesus know his dedication. Maybe he was overconfident or maybe he was just plain sincere.
Jesus is always right in what He says. Jesus is arrested and questioned. As the tensions mount, people question Peter. Two different girls recognize him as a follower of Jesus. Two denials follow. The third comes from people that recognize his accent is different. Peter’s response is the same. Strike three.
The rooster crows and Peter gets the look. Not from the girls that questioned him. Not from the crowd that recognized his ya’all was not from around here, from Jesus. “And he went out and wept bitterly”. Peter did what he said he would not do.
What was the expression and thought of Jesus that Peter saw? Was it, “I told you so Peter”? Was it, “here we go again”? No, the look Peter saw from Jesus was a look of sympathy for Peter.
Jesus came to save sinners. He came to die for Peter and all of us who have gotten the look. Broken and bothered by our sin, our Savior looks upon us in sympathy. He call us to take comfort in what He says.
St. Mark is clear about this. When the angel makes that first Easter pronouncement he makes sure Peter is included. “But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee”. And PETER. Jesus very specifically singles out the denier Peter so he would know what the resurrection of Jesus gives to him and to us.
Jesus gives forgiveness. Jesus death and resurrection gives complete forgiveness to all who have ever gotten “the look”. All of us who have stepped over the line, stepped in it and lied to get out of it, tiptoed around the truth. The cross, the death, the blood of Jesus has forgive you. His resurrection on the third day is so you will hear this. YOU ARE FORGIVEN!!
If you have any doubt about that listen to your pastors absolution on Sunday. It’s for you. If you still struggle with “the look” and guilt from what you have done, go see your pastor again. He has this wonderful thing that takes you to the cross so you can hear the Gospel, the forgiveness of Christ directly into your ears. It’s called private confession absolution. Its not to dwell on your sins but to give you Jesus.