What a Difference a Year Makes!

Date: February 8, 2016

Bible Text: John 21 | Speaker: Darlene Sala | Series: Encouraging Words | It was Passover, and the apostle Peter was in prison sleeping between two soldiers, bound with chains, sentries standing guard. He would not celebrate Passover this year!

But where had Peter celebrated the previous Passover—just one year ago? With Jesus at the Last Supper, that unforgettable meal He commemorated with His disciples. In prison, Peter had all the time in the world to remember.

Thoughts must have flooded his mind. He must have remembered that Jesus washed his feet that night. Remembered that he said he would rather die than disown Christ. With what shame he must have remembered that three times he denied that he even knew Him–then wept bitterly.

The crucifixion followed, and afterwards Jesus’ body was put in a tomb. But then came Easter Day! Resurrection Day! Peter saw for himself that the tomb was empty. There was that thrilling moment when Jesus appeared alive to His disciples, including Peter. Later he ate breakfast with the risen Savior on the shores of Galilee and Jesus spoke those words to him, “Follow Me” (John 21).

Peter’s trial was to be very soon (Acts 12:4). He might shortly suffer the same fate as His Lord. Now in prison waiting the outcome, Peter had the peace of knowing he had been obedient and that his life was in God’s hands—whether he lived or died. And so, he slept—even in prison.

Later after his miraculous release, he would write: “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials” (1 Peter 1:6). “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12). “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

May we too follow Jesus’ command: “Follow Me.” And then trust Him to be all we need for the days and years ahead.