Peter the Jesus follower seemed like the ideal disciple. He was a strong leader, passionate, and maybe just fiery enough to get people’s attention. However, after Jesus was arrested, beaten, and in the midst of a harsh and unfair trial, Peter pretended to not even know who Jesus was. Ouch.
Luke tells us that Peter’s response to his denial of Jesus was to “weep bitterly.” Weeping bitterly is different than feeling a little badly and trying not to do it again. Peter was most likely overcome with not only guilt about what he had done but also a great deal of shame.
The words guilt and shame are not synonymous. Guilt is the feeling we’ve probably all experienced about actions or words we wish we could take back. Shame is a deep, nagging feeling that something is wrong with us: that we are bad.
Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you’re there right now. Maybe you’re in a spot where you can’t shake the feeling that you are bad, you are not enough, or you are unlovable. If that’s the case, there is good news—Jesus died.
When he died, he paid the price for all your sin. If you are a Jesus follower, God no longer holds the things you’ve done wrong against you. Instead, he sees his child. Because of what Jesus did on the cross, you no longer have to live in shame.
After Jesus was resurrected, instead of scolding Peter, he invited him closer. That’s the good news of Easter. Jesus extends the same invitation to you!
Today, lay aside your shame and draw closer to your heavenly Father.