Numbers 14: 1-15:16; Mark 14:53-72; Psalm 53:1-6; Proverbs 11:4
Things were not going well for Jesus. False witnesses drummed up evidence against him. But none of their stories meshed. They hurled all kinds of accusations, but none would stick.
Getting desperate the high priest goaded Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony these men are bringing against you?” Mk. 14:60
“Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’ ” Mk. 14:61
To save his life, Jesus could have answered–Not me. The Chief Priests would have found this much more acceptable and believable than what they heard next:
“I am” said Jesus, “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Mk. 14:62
That’s it! We’ve heard enough! He deserves to die!
Things were heating up for Peter now–the lone disciple who followed Jesus to the judgement hall. He was recognized. “You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus!” Mk. 14:67.
“This fellow is one of them.” vs. 69
“Surely, you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” vs. 70
#@&*$%!! Not ME!
“Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him, ‘Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.’ ” vs. 72
Oh Lord, not me. “And he broke down and wept.” Vs. 72
Brave Peter who decreed that he would not leave Jesus’ side, that he would even die with Jesus–oh Lord, not me.
Oh Lord, not me.
I remained silent at the party when colleagues made fun of God fearing co-workers
I laughed at off color jokes at the expense of others.
My essay said nothing of my belief in a God created world.
Not me. Yes…me.
Lord God, forgive me for the many times I have bowed to the pressure of those around me; for desiring to be accepted by the crowd–that doing so meant denying you. Forgive me for denying you–you who did not deny your true identity to save yourself. You who remained faithful and it led to your death.
Yes, me. I am guilty–guilty of keeping quiet when I could have spoken; guilty of going with the crowd.
Lord, may I instead be found guilty of remaining true to you–Grant me courage and the strength to stand firm in the faith for Jesus’ sake. Amen