261 shareIf you have heard of the "Eucharist" or the "Lord's Supper," tonight, Thursday, some 2000 years ago, Jesus, the man/God from Nazareth, dedicated the emblems of this supper. The next day, he was betrayed by nearly all who followed him and had attended that Thursday meeting.
Peter's denial , that "next" day, Friday, was not about fear at the Nazarene's trial, as some suppose. Rather, it was about Peter's own sense of humanity. He stood in the shadows and watched as they beat his friend. He knew that, this time, there would be no escape. He watched, not actually believing in a resurrection, "knowing" that this was the end of a wonderful, three year dream. His denials (there were three of them) was an admission, that hope had come to an end and reality had set in.
Some 30 years later, this same Peter, would die by crucifixion, for the very thing he denied years before. What happened to change his mind? Does anyone believe that this man, Peter, would die for an unproven dream? I do not. His denials prove, to me, that he was a man willing to face reality, no matter how unpleasant. It proves, to me, that he would die for reality (as in the garden, at The Arrest, when he drew his dagger, willing to fight a Roman command). Again, understand that on Thursday, in the garden, he was willing to fight an impossible battle (one man with a dagger against a troop of Roman soldiers), one that he knew he could not win, only to deny Jesus, 24 hours later . . . . . . . only to die for that reality some 30 years later.
With Peter, it was all about reality, not visions or wild claims of resurrection. He was not willing to die for a much desired but fantasy belief. THAT is what we know about Peter.
We are about to celebrate the Resurrection. I believe that this event, the "resurrection," turned Peter's intellectual decision to deny, into a life of faith that demanded of him, the strongest of validations - his own death.
Personally, I believe because of Peter. Other reasons abound, but that is mine.