Oh! Those painful memories. How they haunted him as he sleeplessly paced the floor, wringing his hands, and sweating profusely, not noticing the chilly breeze floating through the open window. He had seen so many things, heard so much, experienced even more. What was he going to do. He had done the unthinkable, he had denied him just like Jesus said he would do. Oh that look that tender look, how that haunted, how that was burned into his mind. He couldn’t loose it. Those eye’s, they told so much, showed so much hurt, and pain. I had rejected him. If only I could know he had forgiven me.
Every little noise startled Peter as he nervously paced the floor that night, as he relived the things that had happened that day. It had all started with Jesus praying in the Garden the tears and agony can’t even be imagined. Jesus was under great stress, greater than any man had ever felt. As he began to pray, he began to sweat as it were great drops of blood. No this wasn’t just an over exaggeration or a colorful descriptive addition to a good story. It has been documented that humans can and will under extreme psychological, and physical stress have blood seep through their pores. It is a known rare condition called hematidrosis. Dr. Alexander Metherell, explains that hematidrosis is caused by severe anxiety which in turn causes the release of chemicals that break down capillaries in the sweat glands. There is then a small amount of bleeding into these glands, which causes the sweat to come out tinged with blood.
Then those soldiers came clanging, banging and rattling in the night to arrest him. Judas, that betrayer, was leading them straight to us. How I looked with disdain on him as he gave that deceitful kiss to Him. I wanted to use my sword on him but he never did get close enough to me. I was feeling so good about myself. I would never do any thing like that. I had used my sword to try to protect Him, even though Jesus reprimanded me about that.
Oh do I have to think about the courtyard. I was just going to follow to see what was going to happen. I didn’t want to cause any trouble. I just needed to see how it would all turn out. After all He had performed so many miracles surely he could get out of this, couldn’t he? Then came those nosey people. Why can’t people mind their own business? I had to be careful or I would wind up in the same place Jesus was, I couldn’t take that. Oh if only I could erase these memories. They just won’t go away. How can I live like this the rest of my life? I tried to get out of it as easily as I could, but NO! They had to press the point. Before I knew it I had lost my cool, I didn’t want to be known as one of “His” at all. I just wanted to crawl in a hole somewhere, to disappear, but I couldn’t, so I took the easy way out, I denied ever knowing Him. Then I heard it, the rooster, how I wish I could go back and change it all. If only I knew he still loved me.
Then came the beatings, which were done with large leather whips with stones or bones or bits of metal tied to the ends. It tore his skin so quickly and easily, possibly even exposing the spine and possibly even the ribs. When they had finished I couldn’t even recognize him. It was truly like the scriptures said “His visage was marred more than any mans.”
I don’t want to think about it anymore but it just won’t go away. Those cries they still echo in my ears, “Crucify, Crucify Him, Let Him Die, Crucify Him!” Oh That word, “Crucifixion,” That’s awful, that is the worst form of punishment there is. Why can’t they just stone him, or something quick and easy? Crucifixion was invented by a woman, Semiramis, queen of Nineveh. We Israelites don’t practice such a horrible punishment. People have been known to hang on crosses for over a week. Why couldn’t they just get it over with if they were going to kill him? He was then hung on a cross by nails driven through his wrists, since the skin on the palms would have ripped and not been strong enough to hold him on the cross. Then a long spike driven through his feet. The cross was then lifted high which stretched out his arms pulling them out of socket. This added pressure to his diaphragm and lungs causing him to exert more strength to breath pushing up on his feet tearing the flesh and sending agonizing pain throughout his entire body, leading to a death by suffocation, as the muscles in his arms and legs would tire out from constant use. It was really a “Death by inches,” Jesus however “Gave up the ghost.” He had told us he had power to “Lay down his life.”
Then Joseph, bless his heart, took down His body and put it in a tomb. Now what do we do, He was supposed to set up his kingdom, He was supposed to take over the world. Now what am I supposed to do. I can’t leave this house for fear they will take me next. I feel so guilty for denying him I’ve betrayed him as much as Judas. Oh if only I could go to sleep. How can I forget it all. The tears I have shed I’ve prayed and cried, and cried and prayed. I don’t know if God will hear me pray now, after what I’ve done.”
Peter’s thoughts were interrupted by the sound of loud banging and knocking at the door. Peter huffed as he staggered under the guilt and shame he was carrying, to the door. Peering out into the bright early morning sunlight Peter sees some of the women out there. They had excited looks on their faces, some of them had been crying. “Do I have to open the door?” sighed Peter, “I don’t want to talk to anyone.”
Finally gaining enough courage Peter opens the door and is greeted with all of them talking at once. All he catches is “Went to the tomb. HE IS NOT THERE! I saw an angel!!! I saw Jesus and Jesus wants to see YOU PETER! He told me so” Not waiting to hear any more He and John, who had been resting in the other room, ran excitedly to the tomb. John quickly outran the tired Peter who’s mind was filled with all kinds of thoughts. What would Jesus say, What would he do? Should I even go? Was this even real? It’s probably just those emotional women, You know how they are. His mind was tortured the entire way to the sepulcher. Finally reaching the opening Peter stoops down inside and sees the clothes laying there.
“I wonder what will happen now. Could he have really risen from the dead? Is that possible? He did tell us something about that, but I seen Him, how could anyone come back from the dead like he looked?”
Oh what that must have been like when Jesus and Peter finally met in that room. Peter I’m sure filled with regret and remorse then Jesus comforts and tests him, “Lovest thou me more than these?” Peter can only respond, “Thou knowest”
I look with Peter in sorrow on how Christ was treated. How he was spat upon, slapped, mocked and scorned, beaten, nailed to a cross, a crown of thorns slammed on his head, and a spear thrust through his side. What a sorrowful sight. What a horrific scene. Yet how it is transfigured into glory and beauty as we peer into the tomb with Mary and see the shinning angels with a questioning look on their faces, and then to hear them ask, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?”
What that must have been like that early morning as suddenly the bright light then the stone began to creak and groan and then suddenly roll away by itself then in a moment the Lord was up off where he was laying folding the grave clothes. I would run too. The Poet Phillips Brooks put it this way;
Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer; Death is strong, but Life is stronger; Stronger than the dark, the light; Stronger than the wrong, the right; Faith and Hope triumphant say, Christ will rise on Easter Day.