While these unspeakable acts occurred, Peter sat outside, among the Lord’s enemies.  This is never a safe place to be for one of God’s saints.  We will surely be tempted either to join in their sin, or to compromise the truth, thereby denying our Lord.  This last is what happened to Peter.  No doubt that good man was shaken by what He had seen.  His Master had been arrested, and had refused to allow His disciples to defend Him.  His resolve now weakened, Peter was ripe to fall before temptation.  Had not Christ prayed that his faith not fail, Peter surely must have been utterly been devoured by the Devil that night.

This man who hours before had drawn his sword to fight an entirely crowd now cows before the words of a damsel.  Just as Jesus had foretold, Peter denied that he so much as knew the Lord.  His courage had deserted him, and now he feared to be associated with Jesus, lest he too be arraigned before the council.  One denial did not pierce his conscience, for when he was assaulted yet again, he denied with an oath that he knew that Man.  And then came the third time, upon which Peter cursed and swore, denying any knowledge of Jesus.  Now the cock crowed, and all at once Peter recalled to mind the words of Jesus, and his conscience was smitten.  Immediately, he departed from the palace, and wept tears of bitter repentance.

Though Peter is much to be blamed for his denial of the Lord, yet it is a happy thing to see true repentance wrought in great sinners.  Antinomians like to use David or Peter to excuse their sin, but they ought to be asked whether they know anything of David’s contrition in Psalm 51, or of Peter’s bitter weeping.  Peter would proceed to show that his sorrow was a repentance not to be repented of, which will soon stand in stark contrast to the despairing repentance of the arch-traitor Judas Iscariot.

 

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