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Failure That Leads to Victory
Smack dab in the middle of Jesus' crucifixion story, Peter appears again and shares the stage. He makes some more poor choices. He argues with the Lord about whether he will deny Him. He doesn't stay awake and pray. Then, instead of leaving the scene, Peter sticks around, with the intent of seeing what happens to the Lord. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time will cause multiple problems for Peter.
We are all too familiar with this. We're curious. We want to be where the crowd is. We want to know what's going on. It's easy to applaud Peter for wanting to be near Jesus, but in order to do that, he had to compromise his beliefs. He had to deny His Lord in order to fit in. Jesus wasn't enough for him because he needed security and popularity.
John Piper says that unbelief is the root of all sin. Sin was first conceived in the Garden of Eden. The first Adam caved to temptation and disobeyed in unbelief that Jesus was enough for him. He thought God was withholding something good from him. Jesus, the Second Adam, in another garden, accepted the cup of death that the Father gave to Him, knowing that His Father was enough for Him. His obedience to the Lord saved mankind from themselves and their sinful l choices. One day, our world will end in another garden, the heavenly city in Revelation 21-22. There, Jesus will be more than enough for us. We will have need of nothing, and we will want nothing.
Until that time comes, how can we live obediently in light of Christ's sacrifice? God can redeem our past, those "Eden sins" that caused horrible consequences and have begun a domino effect of destruction. We can't erase the consequences, but we can have victory by claiming Christ's blood. We can ask the Lord to teach us from those experiences so that we gain wisdom for the future. Peter learned from the past, and in the future we see him not only acclaiming Jesus but dying for the Lord. And not only dying, but being crucified upside down, not finding himself worthy to die in the same manner as the Lord.
Jesus was obedient to the Father. He begged for the cup to be taken from him, but He submitted to the Father's will. The difference is that God had to turn His back on Jesus. He could not look on that sin in His Son. But now, because of Jesus, God will never turn His back on us. Jesus' sacrifice gained us access into God's family. When we believe that He is enough, there is nothing that we can't face.
"Eden was the garden of disobedience and sin: Gethsemane was the garden of obedience and submission; and heaven shall be the eternal garden of delight and satisfaction, to the glory of God." —Warren Weirsbe
What about the moments where we have a choice between Eden and Gethsemane? There are some temptations in which He promises to give a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13). But there are some trials that we must walk through. We all have a cross that we are asked to carry. We can trust that the "cup" that Jesus gives us is a cup mixed by the Father, and therefore, we can trust that He has nothing but good in store for us. This life isn't without pain and suffering. If Jesus felt it, we will surely have to endure it. But we can drink the cup knowing that His plan for us is best.
Just as one man's sin brought death to us all, one Man's obedience was imputed to all of us. Let's submit to this grace that gives us what we don't deserve. Let's embrace this mercy that doesn't give us what we do deserve. Let's grab hold of this Jesus who loved us to death. Jesus is more than enough for us.
I can so identify with Peter! I make poor choices. Sometimes, I even argue with the Lord. Certainly, I don't pray as I should. Often, I find myself in the wrong place at the wrong time. How about you, can you identify?
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