“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32
It is the Wednesday before Easter. What might seem like “just another day” in our time, was the commencement of a story that defines our faith in Jesus’. And although we cannot be 100% certain, it is believed by some that (based on the timeline of events) the last supper occurred on what we now consider Wednesday.
While there are so so many great truths to find in the Easter story, THIS Wednesday, I want to discuss the contrast of choices between two of the men that joined Jesus for the last supper.
Paint of picture for yourself of the twelve in that upper room. Everyone is talking, sharing stories, singing their own praises. Luke 22:24 even tells us “A dispute also arose… as to which of them was considered to be greatest.” Little did they know that among them were TWO that would soon betray their Lord and teacher. Within the following few hours after departing from that final meal, Peter denied Jesus three times and Judas turned Him over to the High Priests in exchange for money.
Think about it. Both these men commit the same sin. But what each does next is the true testament to their character. One takes his own life and the other goes on to build the church as we know it today. This is not a comparison of who is the “greatest.” This is a sad and very real illustration of a battle being waged everyday for our souls. It is a challenge that asks when you’re at a crossroad between Judas and Peter, do you learn from your sin and move toward God or let it consume you with regret?
The enemy attacks us by fanning a flame of emptiness and self-worthlessness when we sin. This is what Jesus spoke of when he said “Satan demands to have you.” But there is no sin too great for Jesus to bear. In fact, He already has. He gave His very life on Calvary so that we do not have to live in fear or shame or regret. Just like Judas and just like Peter, we are imperfect. But we can be also be forgiven and set free from the choices of our past and pain of our present. Jesus prayed for Peter during the last supper in the same way He prays for us… that our faith will not fail. How reassuring it is to know that the Savior we desperately need is praying for us.
Don’t ever feel you are alone in your pain and if you are struggling today, tell someone. There is no judgement in repentance. We are called to strengthen each other through love. If you need prayer or a listening ear today, please contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or by submitting a request.