Despite Jesus’ warnings, Peter never believed he would run away from a fight and leave Jesus alone. (Matt 26:30-35) But he did. (John 18:15-18; 25-27) As Jesus was being tortured and tried, Peter had three chances to support his dearest friend. But, he swore that he didn’t know Jesus. Peter left Jesus to suffer and die alone, when he should have been the biggest mourner and loudest defender. That’s something too hurtful to take back. It can’t be undone.
Three days later, when Jesus rose from the grave He made sure Peter heard the news. (Matt 16:6-7) Jesus wanted Peter to know that there was hope. Because some things, like death, can be undone.
In John 21:15-19, we see Jesus offering Peter a chance to be redeemed, to undo the past. Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love Me?” This time Peter is able to answer honestly and confidently, “I love you Lord”. Asking three times, Jesus allows Peter to redeem his past with one declaration of love for every denial. Then Jesus prophecies that He will redeem Peter’s future by allowing him to die on a cross, like the Saviour he forsook. (John 21:18)
Our sins against our Saviour are just as grievous as Peter’s. We have personally hurt Jesus with our words, actions and attitudes. We have left Him alone on the cross to carry our punishment. We have done things too hurtful to be undone. But our Redeemer is asking, “Do you love Me? Will you let me redeem your past? Will you let me redeem your future? Do you love Me?”