The sky was dark, the mood was dark, and darkness seemed to cover the light from the fire where a group of malicious men gathered. Next to the fire was a stage that had been set up so that the crowd that gathered could see everything that happened. Center stage was a man bound in heavy chains. The spiteful group shouted out to the crowd that pressed inward to see the cause of excitement.
“Does anyone here have a witness against this man?” one shouted. No one in the crowd answered, the people looking on the spectacle in quiet curiosity.
“If anyone here can help us to find fault with this man, we will pay you well,” another shouted.
“I know, let’s play blindman’s bluff with him, maybe he can tell us who hit him, being that he is a prophet and all…” The group malevolently agreed, blindfolding the man on the pedestal.
“Hey prophet, tell us who hit you!” a man jeered as he slapped the blindfolded man with an open hand across the face.
As the sport continued, serving girls brought food and drink to the people who gathered to watch the show. Soon the crowd joined in with the hateful men on the stage, cheering them crudely on as the beating continued. One man sat and watched quietly. A man, who just an hour before, had been sleeping peacefully in a beautiful garden just outside of the busy city.
A girl noticed, and shouted out to him. “Hey, isn’t that your friend up there on stage?”
The man slouched lower in his seat and exclaimed, “No way, are you crazy? I don’t know that man.”
No one seemed to notice, but the man became more nervous as the crowd was caught in the frenzy going on upon stage. He moved closer to the stage hoping that he could blend in with the crowd.
As he moved closer, he bumped into another serving girl, almost spilling her tray. She turned around to yell at him and recognized him. “Hey, I seen you yesterday, buying bread in the city square. You said that you were having supper with the man who is on the stage.”
Responding heatedly to the girl’s accusation, “I don’t know that man, how can you say that I do?” He was standing near the edge of the stage wanting to look upon his friend one more time before the end.
The demonstration quieted all of a sudden as one of the evil men on the stage recognized him. “I saw you tonight at the olive press in the garden outside of town. You are the one who chopped off the security guard’s ear.”
Peter responded vehemently, swearing with a few choice curse words for emphasis. “I do not that man up there; I’ve never even seen him before.” As he said those words a roster, that had gotten loose in the courtyard, began to crow.
“Err- err- err!” Jesus, bound in chains, looked over at exactly the same time Peter spoke and the rooster crowed and a tear fell from His eye. His friend, who earlier in the evening vowed passionately that he would never deny knowing Him, broke his solemn promise. Peter heard the rooster crow and the words flashed through his memory, “Before the rooster crows one time, you will deny me three times.”
The ultimate embarrassment flooded Peter’s soul as he caught the eye of his beloved friend who stood innocently on stage fulfilling the written word of the prophets of old. More ashamed than afraid, Peter fled from the courtyard and cried from the depths of his soul and repented of his sin. He felt the greatest embarrassment a person could feel.
Jesus went on to fulfill the words of the prophets dieing for all sinners and Peter went on to fulfill the words of his Prophet and Savior as quoted in Matthew 16:18 KJV, “thou art Peter, upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Peter learned an invaluable lesson that dark night he thought was the end. He would, in the future, listen to Jesus’ prophetic word and spare himself the embarrassment of proclaiming otherwise.
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