An Easter Thought
We know at Easter that the love of God in Jesus should be at the very centre of our beings. Yet I often find that my mind wanders and I think about two other characters who are central to the Easter story.
They are Judas and Peter. Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, and Peter denied he even knew Jesus.
Judas and Peter were two men with radically different characters and destinies. Judas was the only Judean among the disciples, and he held a position of honor as their treasurer. But in the end he fell victim to the lure of the very money he had so closely guarded when, as the prophet Zechariah had predicted, he turned Jesus over to the authorities for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12). Yet Judas possible could have had other motives for what he did being a Zealot and wishing above all things that God’s kingdom would come.
Peter also was a trusted leader and spokesman for the group. He swore that he would never fall away but sadly, when Jesus was on trial, Peter three times denied that he even knew the Master. Each of these disciples failed miserably, but we remember the two with drastically different emotions.
After turning away from Jesus, Judas continued running and ended up taking his own life in despair, remorse and some would say repentance. But Peter stopped short, turned back and mourned that he had ever allowed his fear to dictate his actions. Peter, like Judas, could have missed the opportunity for reconciliation, but he didn't. The breaking of Peter's pride set the scene for the making of his character, and he was restored to his place of service. What does this tell us? Well simply that there is always a way back to God. No matter how far we fall whether that be to betray our Lord or to deny him, he is a loving caring forgiving Lord. To many Christians beat themselves up because of guilt for things they have done, or may not have done and should have done. But if we come to our Lord and we admit before him we were wrong then we will be restored. Judas could have stopped short and turned as Peter did and he would have been restored. Never get so far away from the Lord that there appears no way back, because there is always a way. Jesus is the way.
But there is another lesson here for us all that we need to take to heart. We need to be restorers of those who have fallen away. To often we fail those who have made mistakes in life and we right them off. If Jesus could forgive and restore Peter what is it that prevents us from restoring those of our family who have fallen away.