Friday, 13 July 2012
I have betrayed Jesus
My poor saints of Christ, I see that your soul is very troubled and miserable because of the sins which you have committed. It pricks you like a thorn and crushes you like a heavy blow. You cannot breathe for it feels like there is a very large man sitting upon your chest and worst of all, you cannot enter into that sweet communion of your Lord. To put it simply, you feel as if you have betrayed the Lord. You feel like a Judas. After spending time in his presence and Christ was ever so good to you in bestowing to you his love and enjoyment and granting you great privileges in his kingdom, yet you have approached him with the heart of betrayal by kissing sin and embracing that which you promised to forsake. Oh miserable pitiful sinner, I feel the magnitude of your condition but I beseech you not to go and hang yourself or resolve finally to pick up your former trade because of the awful heaviness of your betrayal.
I beseech you with this considerations. Why poor sinner do you think that The Spirit of comfort gave us two accounts of betrayal in the gospels? Why any account of it at all and why two when one especially the one of Judas would have sufficed the plot. I shall tell you languishing saint, it is because of this very malady which you are currently suffering. The Spirit knowing all things and foreseeing the fragility of human nature knew considerably that many would fall in their faith who were truly regenerated. He knew that some who loved Jesus as well as any canonised saint could testify would by some measure, due to their besetting sins feel that they have betrayed their Lord. And in sinning we do betray him for we are those who have made a declaration to follow the narrow way of righteousness; to depart from evil and bid farewell to a life which bid our Lord to die. Yes we are; and every sin committed was a striking blow against the Saviour’s flesh and should we continue to strike him whom has been so kind and gentle with us? Nay! that is why the sins of the saints are like Judas’ kiss or Peter’s denial. The Spirit therefore records for us the denial of Peter to comfort us.
How is it comforting and may soothe my soul asks the poor sighing sinner. It shall comfort you in this. Have you the great privilege that Peter had in the sense that he walked with the Lord for three years, was admitted into his inward circle, was blessed with the eyes to see his transfiguration, was given the responsibility to be his shepherd to his sheep? Have you the great privileges of seeing Christ in action, of sleeping by his side day and night, of him coming into your mother’s house and feasting with him at Cana? Peter had an intimacy with the Lord that no saints here now living could ever experience even if Christ was to come to you every night because the Christ now experienced although the same Person is the resurrected Christ. You would not experience Christ in the same way but the experience of it is no less sweeter, in fact we shall enjoy him and enjoy him as closely as one knows one’s wife. Peter had an intimacy with Christ, a great privilege, and if any one knew Jesus it was Peter. Peter knew Jesus so well that it was revealed to him by the Father that Jesus was the messiah, the Son of the living God. Peter knew this and what did he do on the night that Jesus in his precious hour needed his faithful friend? I shall tell you, He betrayed him. Peter kissed him like Judas with his words, a word as untrue as the view of atheism. Peter knew the Lord but denied him out of fear of not wanting to perish with his master.
Peter committed his crime and the Spirit of grace did not shy away from recording this calamity for us. But the Spirit of truth did not leave the account here on the sinking sand of Peter’s remorse but hauls us to the scene where Peter would once again be personal with his Lord and the Lord would pronounce on him divine forgiveness by not heaping on him condemnation but affirmation to be his good shepherd to his scattered sheep.
Christ was gentle and meek with Peter, and he is meek and gentle with you. He has prayed for you that your faith will not leave you, the devil seeks with all of his might to sift you, but the prayers of Christ have more efficacy. The prayers of Christ are like a mighty waterfall upon the devil’s candle, for they quench his schemes thoroughly. Christ only asks of you poor sinner to pick up your mat and walk. Do not tie the rope to descend from the tree. Do not take up your bag to return to your former duties. No. Stand firm in the grace of God in Christ - will you make God to be a liar when it is said of him that He is faithful to forgive us if we confess? Confess now languishing sinner and your sins are remembered no more.
Peter’s betrayal is the chief of betrayal and Christ forgave him and He forgives you. You might say dear sinner, that you have betrayed him a thousand times and fear that you may betray him ten thousand more times. O sinner, is the blood of Christ not for all of your sins and will Christ not see to it about your sanctification? He will make you blameless. Think not about your sins of tomorrow but think about the sufficiency of his grace for the days ahead.
O sinner be lifted from your melancholy. Your sins have no cause, nay, they never do, to see you miserable. It's sting has been taking away, nailed to the cross. Acknowledge your sins, yes, and then nail it, bury it, yes, and burn it in the fires of hell where it shall forever dwell. The Spirit comforts you, He bids you to accept the works of Christ.
The fourth commandment is, Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is...