It Really Was Mission Incredible!
For three years Peter followed Him. His professed allegiance to the Lord Jesus was such that he was heard to say, “Lord, I am ready to go with Thee, both into prison and to death” (Luke 22:33). But, did he really understand the purpose for which the Lord Jesus came into the world?
The Lord even told the disciples of the events He knew would come (Matt 17:22, 20:18). Nothing, however, prepared Peter for that night when the soldiers came to the garden while they were praying. Surely the Lord would slip away as at other times. But no, He moves to meet them, saying that He is the One they are seeking and that His disciples should be let go. He even stopped Peter from defending Him. Why? Didn’t the Lord know that they sought His life! Forgetting his boast, Peter forsook Him and fled (Mark 14:50) and the Lord was left alone with His accusers. Peter followed them to the High Priest’s house. He sat at the Pharisee’s fire while Annas, Caiaphas, Herod, and finally Pilate questioned His friend as to the accusations. But Jesus held His peace and answered nothing (Mk 14:61).
Peter would learn that the Lord Jesus was beaten, spit upon, the hair pulled from His face; He was scourged and a crown of thorns was pushed into His brow. Then as the morning dawned He was led to the place called Calvary where He was nailed to a cross. Soon an unnatural darkness veiled the scene, from which came the groans and cry of the sufferer, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me”?
Perhaps from a distance Peter himself observed and heard these things. Yet it was likely not until after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus that he realized what had fully transpired on the cross and his heart was filled with the greatest wonder of all. He knew now that the purpose of Christ’s coming into the world was to be the Sin-bearer and that He was the only one who could bare our sin. Peter would soon preach that Jesus was … “delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23) and that what … “God before had shewed by the mouth of all His prophets, that Christ should suffer, He hath so fulfilled” (Acts 3:18) and that, “Neither is there salvation in any other …” (Acts 4:12).
The Years That Followed
Through the years, Peter’s wonder only increased as he thought of the person of Christ and His sacrifice for sin. Though he had forsaken his Lord before, Peter now exhorts us all to follow in the steps of the one: “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously: who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose strips ye were healed” (1Peter 2:22-24).