v 72. Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he broke down and wept.
But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:32)
Who can conceive the shame and confusion, and self-reproach and bitter remorse which must have overwhelmed his soul? To have fallen so foully. To have fallen so repeatedly. To have fallen in the face of such plain warnings!
The experience of Peter is only the experience of all God’s servants who have yielded to temptation. Lot, and Samson, David and Jehoshaphat in bible history – Cranmer and Jewell in the records of our English churches, have all left evidence, like Peter, that the backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways. Like Peter, they erred grievously. Like Peter they repented truly; but, like Peter, they found that they reaped a bitter harvest in this world. Like Peter, they were freely pardoned and forgiven; but like Peter, they shed many tears.