Just before He is crucified, one of Jesus’ closest friends denies knowing Him at all. This close friend denies knowing Jesus hours after telling Jesus he would die for Jesus. He denies knowing Jesus to strangers. He denies knowing Jesus to children he doesn’t know. He curses and swears on his life he’s never met Jesus before.
This is after knowing Jesus for three and a half years. He traveled with Jesus. Ate with him every single day for 1,200 days. Learned from Jesus. Watched Jesus love.
Peter is his name.
After Jesus is killed, Peter is left with regret for betraying Jesus.
Peter reverts to what he was good at: He goes fishing.
All of us, when we feel like a failure, we revert to what we are decent at so we don’t feel so much like a failure.
Jesus rises from death. He finds Peter. He forgives Peter. Jesus tells Peter how much he is loved. He gives Peter grace. It changes Peter’s life. It gives him true identity. And it led Peter to write these words:
Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy. (1 Peter 2:10, NLT)
Jesus told Peter after the resurrection that Peter wasn’t his past. He wasn’t his failures. And Peter was never the same.
We should not look the same after Jesus’ recieving mercy as we did before it.
Peter uses the word mercy a lot. It’s because he should know what mercy is after denying Jesus three times and being reinstated by Christ.
I could write until I’m blue in the face and all my hair falls out who you are in Christ, but only the Spirit can get a hold of you through the mercy of Jesus. I’m just doing some reminding here.
If there is any regret in our lives, it’s because we choose to not embrace our identity in who God says we are.
A few snapshots of what you would experience if you just embrace who you really are to Jesus:
You would be more secure.
If we try to find our identity in our spouse, in what they think of us, what happens when the marriage fails? There goes our identity.
If our identity is in our job, what happens when we underperform or we’re not recognized, or we lose the job? There goes our identity.
If our identity is in friends, what happens when they backstab us or don’t fulfill us in the way we expect?
If our identity is in money, what happens when we’re still empty inside after spending it?
We are unstoppably secure when we place our identity in Christ. He loves us, even when we fail. He’s saved us. He wants us. And the world can’t touch it.
I want to say that if my kids ran away and my wife left me for someone else and the doctor said I have cancer and I was fired from my job and in my desperation, no one that said they loved me came to love me in my time of need, after all of that I would still be secure in Jesus.
Just think of the worst of the worst that could happen and know it will not change who you are to Jesus. He loves you so much, so let’s stop freaking out and getting angry over the slightest of things. We aren’t insecure people, we’re Christians secure in God’s love.
You would be more confident.
So many Christians comes to God in prayer, in need, and they’re like, Um, God…I mean, yeah, um, Jesus, hey, I’m really struggling, I guess. And I don’t know if this is okay, but I kind of need some help, and I’m not sure if You can do something, maybe, to, well, you know………
Where’s the confidence?
You are God’s son. You are His daughter. You are the apple of His eye. Stop talking to Him like He’s some dictator and you’re some peasant. He’s your Father. Go to Him confidently and tell Him what you need.
You would be more restful.
How much of our frantic pace is directly related to the fact we ignore who we are in Christ?
We are running around with our heads cut off to prove things to others, to show others we’re there for them, to provide for family and to serve people non-stop. As a result, we are exhausted because we’re trying to make all of that happen on our own strength.
Your crazy schedule is traced back to your reluctance to embrace your true identity in Jesus.
The opposite of security, confidence and rest is emptiness. Insecurity has made me empty. Fear has left me empty. Busyness has left me empty. Jesus has never.
Unless you and I believe Jesus is alive today and that He loves us, we will be empty.
Unless we believe the tomb is empty, our lives will be, empty.
Thanks for reading. Happy Easter. You are loved.