“Before I formed thee in the belly I knee thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee,and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (Jer. 1:5)
From The Second Half of the Cross
The end of the spiritual road for Jesus Christ, while living as a human being on this earth, was a smashing victory over evil, in all of the contested areas of character and truth, yet in the most admirably understated and self-effacing way imaginable in keeping within God’s nature. The surprising pay-off at the end of being crucified and buried for dead, seemingly in humiliating defeat, was a massively positive outcome orchestrated by God the Father, which Peter could not and did not foresee when he announced beforehand that he would not allow Jesus to be captured by His enemies, nor forsake Jesus under any circumstances (Matthew 26:33). The cross and the resurrection revealed the right way to live, from a humanly unexpected direction.
This is the supernatural aspect of the transformation that Peter experienced in his fall in the courtyard of Caiaphas, and his subsequent glorious recovery upon seeing Jesus during his individual and very personal interview with Jesus on Resurrection Day (Luke 24:34). The passing glance that Jesus gave to Peter in the courtyard of Caiaphas (Luke 22:61), pierced the very soul of Peter, and the gospel account records that Peter then went out and wept bitterly. But when Jesus looked into the eyes of Peter on Resurrection Day, not only did this look contain loving forgiveness, but also the confident look of someone who knew all along the ultimate outcome of events.
When Jesus said to Peter “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not” (Luke 22:32), Jesus was not referring to Peter’s upcoming utter failure in the courtyard of Caiaphas, but in the hope that Peter would not completely lose faith in the ability of Jesus to overturn His crucifixion and burial into the resurrection He spoke about a few days earlier, despite the overwhelming negative outward appearances. When Jesus shows the disciples His nail pierced hands and feet, and His spear pierced side, it is as much to say: “Look and see…I am God and one with the Father…We always knew what We were doing and that victory was at the end of my road leading to Calvary.” This incredible turnaround discovery for Peter transformed him into a fearless and powerful witness to the resurrection of Jesus for the rest of his life.
At critical points along the journey of faith in a Christian life, and at the final end of the road, lies the discovery that God is and was way out in front of us as to what is eternally important and fulfilling for our lives here on earth. God really does know better than we do. One of the scriptural lessons of the resurrection of Christ that is so beautifully illustrated in the transformation of Peter, from his precipitous fall in the courtyard of Caiaphas to his full recovery on the Day of Pentecost, is that in the adventure of a walk of faith with Jesus Christ, God sees to it that in the end the good guy does not finish last.