Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, (1) “Woman, I do not know him.” . . . (2) “Man, I am not.” And . . . (3) “Man, I do not know what you are talking about” (Luke 22:56-59).
Solomon was right when he wrote, “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty” (Prov. 18:12). Spurgeon tells us, “It is an old and common saying, that ‘coming events cast their shadows before them;’ the wise man teaches us that a haughty heart is the prophetic prelude of evil. Pride is as safely the sign of destruction as the change of mercury in the [barometer] is the sign of rain; and far more [predictably] than that. When men have ridden the high horse, destruction has always overtaken them. . . . God hates high looks, and never fails to bring them down. All the arrows of God are aimed at proud hearts.
In Peter’s denial, we see the process of one who falls into sin and then the sad results that follow. But why have this story in Scripture? And why would all four of the Gospel writers include it? Here is Peter who became the foremost of the apostles, denying that he even knew his Lord and Master! We can understand the Judas story, his betrayal of Jesus was necessary for Christ to suffer and be crucified. But what purpose did Peter’s sin serve?
Of one thing we can each be sure, none of us is very far from what Peter did that fateful day! In fact, who does not have the seeds of denial right now in his heart? We learn from this sad account that it is altogether too near to our own failures to ignore. How very easily do we fall? In a sense, not to oversimplify, all sins we commit are a type of denial of Jesus Christ.
ALL SINS ISSUE FROM A DENIAL OF CHRIST!
Self-pity denies Jesus’ ability to rightly order our lives, assuming we know better than God. Stealing denies his provision; griping denies his wise choice to give or hold back whatever He chooses; adultery denies his order for society and his choice of mate--or to have none at all. Gossip denies God’s image in the other person and exalts oneself. Anxiety denies God’s loving watchcare over us and his ability to meet all our needs. All sins deny our Lord his rightful place in creation and in our own lives. For this, and in order to save man from such an overwhelming addiction, Christ must die and rise again to save us! In Peter’s denial we all find ourselves. In Christ's victory over sin and death we find our solution!