This is the first part in a three part series on the life of the Apostle Peter.
It was early Friday morning in the city of Jerusalem. The sky had long ago turned black. The flickering flames of a charcoal fire crackled in one of the city's courtyards, illuminating an illegal nighttime trial. Pharisees, scribes, Sadducees, slaves, and various other people roamed about the courtyard. But the scene was dominated by the man at the center of it all— the man on trial.
The night was cold, and a young man near the fire was warming himself, trembling so violently as he watched the trial that he could not hold still. A dark male figure, probably a slave, approached the young man. The young man soon found himself replying in defense, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!” (Luke 22:60). Suddenly, while he was still replying, he heard a shrill cry coming from somewhere in the distance— it was the cry of a rooster.
Trembling even more, the young man looked at the man on trial, and to his alarm, their eyes met. It was a fearsome stare that the young man would never forget. And as he fled into the darkness weeping, the image of the stare was etched deeper and deeper into his mind.
Why was it that the most exciting and bold moments in his life were always followed with pride and despair? One time, he had said of the man whose trial he had just been watching, You are the Christ!" (Matthew 16:16) The Christ had responded to him with praise, but moments later, his pride got ahold of him and the Christ rebuked him with the strongest of words, “Get behind me Satan!” (Matthew 16:23)
Tonight, it had happened again. Once more, his excitement and confidence had led him to pride. Had not his Lord, the Messiah, just a few hours ago, declared Himself to be equal with the Father and the fulfillment of the New Covenant? (Luke 22:20) But now, just hours later, he had denied Him! He was a coward, afraid even to reveal his own identity. What sacrifice! What service! He was probably no better than Judas… what could he ever do in return for his Lord?
Nero Blames Great Roman Fire On Christians - 64 AD
Slavery, The Great Fire In Rome, and Nero