By G. Lee Southard, PhD
Many years ago, I heard a sermon by a pastor titled “The Look,” and it resonated with me then and now. At a beautiful Palm Sunday service this past Sunday, I heard the words in the context of Peter’s denial, and again they resound. Here they are from Luke 22;54-62.
Then they seized Jesus and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” And a little later, someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed, And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.
Peter was devastated and ashamed. He had denied Jesus, God incarnate, creator of heaven and earth and sovereign God of the universe. He knew Jesus was going to the cross for the forgiveness of sins. Would you have done the same if you were in Peter’s place? Peter is not the focus here. You are.
Look into the eyes of the above image and consider Jesus looking at you. What does he see? Someone who denies him by failing to speak of their faith in him1 because they are concerned about what someone else would say? Someone who fails to keep his commandments like loving God and your neighbor?2 Someone not raising their children in the Lord as commanded by God?3 Someone not honoring their mother and/or father?4Coveting things of this world?5
Right after the episode with Peter, Jesus went to through excruciating suffering and death. He did it for one reason. You!! So that if you confess your sins and ask Him in to be the Lord of your life, you will live eternally with Him.
If you have any doubts and need more evidence, I refer you to a book that was written for you to know with certainty.6 Consult the Biblical references given in the book to understand the truth of the resurrection.
Resurrection Sunday (Easter) reminds us of the most significant victory of all time, won at the cost of great suffering. He has every right to look into your eyes. So what does he see?
- Mathew 10:33
- Mathew 22:35-40
- Deuteronomy 6: 4-9
- Exodus 10:12
- Exodus 20:17
- Southard, L To Know with Certainty: Answers To Christian Students questions Before Leaving High School. WestBow Press, Bloomington, Indiana 2017.Available at www.to know with certainty.com