The Daily Office | March 30, 2018
Psalms 144, 145, 146
Psalms 147, 148, 149, 150
Collect: Ash Wednesday
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made, and you forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect: Good Friday
Almighty God, we beseech you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Good Friday reminds makes us look at Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God incarnate suffer beatings, mockings, and death on a cross. And as we gaze in horror at our Savior upon the cross, we also must look at our own sin and see ourselves as we truly are--despicable, sinful, enemies of God. And as people for whom God himself died so that we could be cleansed and therefore have a relationship with him.
Our Gospel passage shows this distinction in a heartbreaking way. Peter, the disciple who seemed to “get it,” who knew who Jesus was, (“You are the Christ!” in Mark 8:29) and on whom Jesus said he would build his Church, cowers in fear and denies Jesus not once but three times.
In an excruciating juxtaposition, John shows Christ’s faithfulness in the light of Peter’s faithlessness. As Peter denies Jesus, Jesus stands trial; an innocent man, the Judge of the universe, being tried in a crooked trial.
But Jesus did not just stand trial for Peter, but also stands in the place of you and me. Maybe you’ve broken your Lenten fast, maybe you do not feel that this season has brought you closer to Christ, or that everyday seems like another day of failure and sin. Your faith has failed and you’ve denied Jesus Christ in big and small ways in exchange for comfort, security, or to be well-liked by others.
Today, see your sin and your faithfulness. Lament it and repent of it. See your Savior, in his great love, suffer rejection, injustice, pain, and death for you. See his faithfulness in the face of our faithlessness and cling to him, turn to him, and follow him.