Read Luke 22:54-62.

Jesus had told him it would happen: “[B]efore the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me” (Luke 22:34). But Peter had convinced himself he would be strong for Jesus, no matter what came their way.

But that evening by the fire in the courtyard of the high priest’s residence, Peter succumbed to his fear. “I don’t know him,” he said (Luke 22:57), and he repeated this cold sentiment twice more. As the words were leaving his mouth the third time, Peter’s eyes met Jesus’ eyes. The reality of what he had done rocked Peter to his core in an instant, “And he went outside and wept bitterly” (v. 62).

A few hours later, Jesus was crucified. To Peter, it seemed all was lost. He had abandoned Jesus when it counted most, and now the Lord was gone.

But, of course, Jesus’ story wasn’t over, and neither was Peter’s. Our God is the God of second chances. Because of the resurrection, He doesn’t turn away anyone who comes to Him truly and deeply repentant.

When an angel spoke to the women who came to Jesus’ tomb on Easter morning, he said to them, “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, . . .” (Mark 16:6-7). Did you catch that?

It’s just two words—and Peter—but those two simple words give us all great hope. They are the application of the Gospel. Though Peter’s sin was great, Jesus’ compassion was greater. Peter wasn’t met with words of condemnation, but words of affection and encouragement. He was met with a second chance.

Though Peter must have imagined Jesus could no longer use him, the resurrected Jesus had a new commission for him all the same. He told the fisherman-turned-apostle, “Feed my sheep” (John 21:17), and He did so three times, once for every denial Peter uttered. The message was clear: All is forgiven.

The power of Jesus’ resurrection assures every repentant sinner of a second chance. If you’re in need of a second chance, don’t wait. Repent of your sins, make a clean break from your past, and come to Jesus today! He stands ready to receive you with open arms.

Prayer: God, thank You for Your incredible mercy toward me. Thank You that Your sacrifice is mighty to save—that Your grace is sufficient. I repent of my sins and ask for Your forgiveness and Your strength to follow You today and every day. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times’” (Luke 22:61).

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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