Holy Week has begun. It always amazes me when I find that Easter is just around the corner. How on earth did the first few months of 2014 come and go so quickly? And yet, here we are, just days away from Good Friday and the greatest day on the Christian calendar, Easter – Resurrection Sunday.
The more I dive into the details of all that this week means for me as a Christ follower, I am truly overwhelmed. The reality of our faith is that we believe some pretty incredible claims about the God-man Jesus Christ. That is why it’s called faith, I suppose. Belief in the unseen. The fact that there was a man that lived, breathed, and walked the face of this earth named Jesus isn’t much of a stretch. The fact that this man went to the cross and died a cruel and horrific death is also not a huge leap either. There is much historical evidence to back these claims. The element of faith in all of this is that we believe that Jesus IS God, and His death on the cross paid IN FULL the debt of our sins. FAITH.
In preparation for Easter, I’ve been reading through the gospels and the events recorded that lead up to Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Try as I may, I can hardly help but find myself fixed and focused on the details surrounding Peter, one of Jesus’ closest friends and disciples. Peter would go on to be one of the key founders and leaders of the first church in Acts. Peter would eventually die a brutal martyrs’ death because of his unwavering faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. And it was Peter who denied Christ three times when under pressure. (Read Matthew 26:69-75, Mark 14:66-72, Luke 22:54-62, and John 18: 15-18 and 25-27)
I don’t know why, but it’s hard to imagine those that were literally doing life with Jesus (his disciples) experiencing doubt. But they did. In a moment of weakness and fear, Peter denied even knowing Jesus. Before we jump to harsh conclusions and start throwing stones though, it’s important to remember Peter’s response to his sin. He wept bitterly.
Doubt is a reality that we all face. It might do us well to just admit that. More importantly than the fact that we will experience doubt as it relates to our faith is what we will do with this doubt. Peter responded appropriately – he grieved over what his doubt had caused him to do, and he was forgiven and restored by Jesus Himself. What do you do with your doubt? What do you allow your doubt to influence you to do? How do you respond when your doubt leads you to sin? As much as Peter might get a bad rap at times for being the one to deny Jesus Christ, I think we can learn a thing or two from his example. We’re not perfect, but we are works in progress – works that Jesus loves and takes great patience with. Respond to the ugly but true reality of doubt appropriately. Take your doubt to Jesus. Grieve over any sin that your doubt has led you into, and receive the grace, love, forgiveness, and restoration that Jesus is ready to extend to you when you do.