"Take your head in your hands and weep when you need to, then rise in repentance and walk in a new direction" these words, from that morning's She Reads Truth devotional (in response to Peter's denial of Jesus in Mark 14:66-72) really struck a chord with me when I read them last week. I have always identified with Peter. In the film the Passion of Christ it is this part of the film that breaks me. I remember clearly being sat in the cinema with a large group of friends whilst at university people to the left and right of me (young men as well as women) crying at what they were seeing on screen and I remained in one piece - until Peter started to deny Christ, then I just broke down into a flood of tears. My housemate, a new Christian, was sat next to me and I knew (even in the dark) he was watching me cry - I think he could not understand why this part bought out such a reaction (he had also never seen me cry before!) But it always breaks me, that Jesus came to volunteer to be a living sacrifice for us, for all generations, for ME - yet not even his over zealous friend Peter could summon courage to stand with Jesus when He must have felt so alone. Jesus has done more than anyone else could possibly do for me, but still I let Him down time and time again. Yet through all that, all the mess ups, all the let downs, He still loves me! He died for me, knowing all the mess ups I would make. Just like He loved Peter and died for him, even knowing he would deny Him.
I was brought back to this thought yesterday by my Holy Week devotional book from John Piper (Which I would highly recommend - find it here on John's website, and seriously go check the website out, it's full of great resources, most of which are totally free! But back to my point, the book...) it's so good. Yesterday it spoke about Jesus not only fulfilling prophecy upon prophecy from the Old Testament but also how He prophesied so many things too. Thinking again about how He not only knew Peter would deny Him, He knew how many times Peter would and Jesus knew at what time that he would. Reading this I wanted to break down and weep once more at how He loves us even knowing our failings, He went to the cross knowing how and when we would all fail. There are big failings in my life, decisions I wish I had not made or made differently, better. Those are the things the enemy takes my mind to when he is trying to get me to doubt and question how God can love me. But now, I am just in awe that Jesus would go to the cross for me, knowing ahead of time that I would fail Him like I have. He knew all the mistakes and failings in my life, yet He still loved me and my life enough to give Himself up to a horrific and painful death on a cross for me. What a call to bring us into repentance and thankfulness.