This past summer, our youth group spent time studying the latter days in the life of Jesus. On one particular Wednesday night, we looked at Peter’s denial of Christ. Looking at this story, we also drew on the point that we continue to sin and this has a negative effect on the Christian witness. To help illustrate that point my friend Shane and I (the intern) decided to make a video about the fictional character, the Denialator. This then is that video:
These were the denialators:
I. Realize our vulnerability
Peter denied being a follower of Jesus three times and he even denied ever knowing Him. This came after Peter’s declaration just hours before that he would die for his faith, “If I have to die with You, I will never deny You!” (Mk 14:31) The rest of the disciples followed suit, but when actually confronted there was no one by the side of Christ.
We cannot forget that we are still prone to sin. John warns us that we should not deceive ourselves by thinking that we will not sin (1 Jn 1:10). There is sin and there is also the enemy, Satan and his cohorts, who are out to destroy us (John 10:10). We must always be on our guard by depending on the Spirit to bring us through our daily lives. Understand that the more we let go of trying to defeat sin ourselves and instead surrender to the power of God, the more likely we are to be pulled through moments of temptation (1 Cor 10:13).
II. Recognize God’s presence
With Jesus by his side, Peter was willing to stand against 600 Roman soldiers. However, the moment he realized that His Lord was gone he denied everything about his faith. I know I always felt stronger when my dad was by my side and it’s the same thing with our relationship with Jesus. The more in tune we are to His presence, the more confident we can be about our faith. Paul reminds us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess 5:17). To pray continuously is less about a position and more about the constant recognition of God’s presence and dependence on His will.
III. Remember our place in Christ
Peter denied being one of the disciples (Jn 18:17). When we have a better understanding of who we are and what we’re about (see next point), we will be less likely to deny the very thing we are: God’s. He is our Creator and the one from which we derive our meaning and purpose.
IV. Reinforce our commitment to sharing the Gospel
One of the things that strikes me about the denial account is that Peter missed out on an opportunity to talk about Jesus, his best friend. As Christians, we have been given the awesome responsibility of telling others about Jesus (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor 5:18-20). When sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ becomes our passion, encounters with other people turn into opportunities.