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From Heaven With Love

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    Peter Fails

    But the woman who kept the door cast a searching glance on him. She marked the dejection on his face, and thought he might be a disciple of Jesus. Curious to know, she asked, “Art not thou also one of this Man's disciples?” Peter was startled and confused; he pretended not to understand. But she was persistent. Peter felt compelled to answer, and said angrily, “Woman, I know Him not.” This was the first denial, and immediately the cock crowed. In assuming an air of indifference, Peter had become an easy prey to temptation.HLv 472.4

    Attention was called to him the second time, and he was charged with being a follower of Jesus. Peter now declared with an oath, “I do not know the man.” Another hour passed, when a near kinsman of the man whose ear Peter had cut off asked him, “Did not I see thee in the garden with Him?” “Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilean.” At this Peter flew into a rage. In order fully to deceive his questioners and justify his assumed character, Peter now denied his Master with cursing and swearing. Again the cock crowed. Peter heard it, and remembered the words of Jesus, “Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny Me thrice.” Mark 14:30.HLv 473.1

    While the degrading oaths were fresh upon Peter's lips, and the shrill crowing of the cock was ringing in his ears, the Saviour turned and looked full upon His poor disciple. At the same time Peter's eyes were drawn to his Master. In that gentle countenance he read deep pity and sorrow, but no anger.HLv 473.2

    The sight of that suffering face, those quivering lips, pierced his heart like an arrow. Peter called to mind his promise of a few short hours before, when the Saviour told him he would deny his Lord thrice that same night. Peter now realized how accurately his Lord had read his heart, the falseness of which was unknown to himself.HLv 473.3

    A tide of memories rushed over him. The Saviour's long-suffering, His patience—all was remembered. He reflected with horror on his own falsehood, his perjury. Once more he saw a sacrilegious hand raised to smite his Master in the face. Unable longer to endure the scene, he rushed, heartbroken, from the hall.HLv 473.4

    He pressed on in solitude and darkness, he knew not and cared not whither. At last he found himself in Gethsemane. He remembered with bitter remorse that Jesus had agonized in prayer alone. He remembered His solemn charge, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.” Matthew 26:41. It was torture to his bleeding heart to know that he had added the heaviest burden to the Saviour's humiliation and grief. Peter fell on his face and wished that he might die.HLv 473.5

    Had those hours in the garden been spent in watching and prayer, Peter would not have been left to depend on his own feeble strength. He would not have denied his Lord. Had the disciples watched with Christ in His agony, they would have been prepared to behold His suffering on the cross. Amid the gloom of the most trying hour, hope would have lighted up the darkness and sustained their faith.HLv 474.1

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