It was in a time and space of familiarity. I had been to numerous services and heard a million sermons. Growing up in the church, the most repetitive phrase I heard was, “God loves you.” After some time, it became numb and easily forgotten in my heart. So, for the first sermon in my Fall DTS to be about God’s love, I felt a little underwhelmed at first. It looked ordinary and I was in remembrance of all the other services I was in, in my life. However, though it looked the same, this time it somehow felt different. Whether it be the strange faces that replaced all of the familiar faces back at home or the new and foreign voice of the speaker, I knew God was going to move.
One thing the speaker spoke about was a passage in Luke 22, where Peter denies Jesus three times and after the rooster crowed, verse 62 says, “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.”
This passage of the scripture did nothing less than pierce my heart and download the intensity and gravity of the emotions that were integrated into the living word of God. As I began to walk up to the altar call, all I could envision was that moment where Jesus and Peter experienced this emotional roller coaster as they exchanged looks.
As I started praying, I began to see a vision. I was at the place where Jesus was hanging on the cross and I took the place of Peter, and it was me who was walking and the Lord turned and looked at me. As I began to start weeping like Peter the disciple did, I started to reminisce on all my past sin and shortcomings. Jesus knew Peter was going to deny him, just as he knew my past, present, and future sins.
When I envisioned exchanging that look with Jesus, I immediately felt an overwhelming amount of guilt and shame. Despite wanting to look away, I couldn’t escape his eyes. As I looked deep into his eyes, everything changed. It was at that moment, where from his eyes I heard a thousand words without hearing a single sound.
There Jesus was, on the cross, in a place of total defeat. Moments away from death, but also moments away from completing the greatest act of love. And from that place, he says, “I’m dying for you, so that you may spend eternity with me. I know the sins you committed, the sins you are committing, and the sins you will commit. But nothing can separate my love for you and I chose to take all your sins so that you may be found righteous in God.”
As people, we are longing for something more, something out of the ordinary; a love so satisfying, a love that captures our hearts. We need to be constantly reminded of His love. He has given us everything our heart desires and all He asks is that you would believe.