Up until the very last minute, Jesus gave Judas an out but Judas went ahead with his awful deed.
Peter's fall had been prophesied by Jesus, but contained in it was also the seed of hope because Jesus said, "when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Ah, there it is! Redemption.
And the rest of the story is that Peter went on to be the head of the church, a mighty miracle worker, and a trailblazer to welcome Gentiles into the faith. He never denied Christ again and tradition has it that he was crucified, upside down at his request because he did not feel worthy to even die as the Lord had.
From this I gleaned that:
~Satan goes after the righteous. He went after righteous Job. He went after Peter because it was Peter who walked on water, Peter who was tuned into the Spirit and recognized Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah. It was Peter who witnessed and comprehended the magnitude of the transfiguration. Satan exposed Peter's weakness, but God used it to strip Peter of his self-righteousness and taught him to rely instead on the righteousness of Christ.
~Satan attacks our faith. Jesus prayed for Peter's faith, not that he would avoid falling. Faith can survive a test, and yes, even a fall from grace. Jesus knows our weaknesses. He knows we will fail, yet "in our weakness, He is strong." (2 Cor. 12:10) This is the power of the Cross! This is the message that Peter exited his trial with. This is the message that would strengthen not only the other disciples but those who just a few decades later, would experience severe persecution.
~Redemption is FULL redemption. After the resurrection, Jesus instructed the women at the tomb to go and tell the disciples AND PETER. I often wondered why He said it this way. Was Peter not with the disciples? Was he still mourning his failure? Was he no longer considered a brother by the other disciples even though he was sorry for his sin? Was he no longer considered a brother by the other disciples even though he was sorry for his sin? I don't know, but once again, Peter stands out as a prominent figure in the life of Christ. By mentioning Peter by name, all would know and understand the power of the redemption that Christ had just bought. It was full and complete. Peter was completely restored and went on to be a mighty minister of God!
~Trials and failures are normal and necessary in the lives of believers. Pride is a subtle, awful thing in the life of a Christian. It often lies hidden and undetected until...it isn't. It's devastating. Yet, Peter admonishes the brethren in 1 Peter 1 that those testings, whether you pass or fail, can result in the praise, glory, honor, and revelation of Jesus Christ when you have turned back onto the path of holiness through Christ alone, void of any works, plans, or efforts of your own. Failures are used by God to bring us to the end of ourselves so that we can embrace the new beginning He has wrought for us in Christ. This is full and complete redemption.
So today, I am thankful for Redemption