Have you ever been betrayed by a friend? Someone you liked, someone you trusted, maybe even someone you loved. When we experience that kind of betrayal, it’s one of the worst experiences we can have in life. Not as bad as your team not winning the Superbowl. But still pretty painful.
That’s why God’s love of us is so revolutionary. We’ve all betrayed God before. Most of us on a daily basis. We’ve put him through exactly that kind of pain. Yet God is always there when we need him. Despite everything, God still stands by us.
This isn’t just one small part of who God is. It’s one of the major themes that runs through the entire Bible. We see this in the lives of Moses and David. Jesus illustrates it with stories like the prodigal son. It’s even the story of Peter’s life.
There are very few people in the Bible who are more outspoken in support of Jesus than Peter. Peter was always the guy jumping to show just how much he was willing to sacrifice for God. He put his life on the line more than once. Peter wasn’t just talk, he was action too. (You don’t get to walk on water by sitting on the shore.)
But in the hour of Jesus’ greatest need, Peter failed him. First because he couldn’t stay awake and keep Jesus company. Second, by denying Jesus three separate times.
Imagine if one of your closest friends couldn’t visit you in the hospital as you were dying. Or never called to see how you were after losing your job. You’d be understandably angry and maybe even a little resentful. We’d start treating our friend differently. We might not even call them our friend.
Yet God is the God of redemption. And Peter’s story doesn’t end with being defriended. It ends with Jesus restoring Peter as a friend. In fact, one of the first things God does is send a message to Peter that Jesus is alive, and he shouldn’t worry anymore.
Think about that. Peter had done nothing. Yet God sought him out.
This is why God is such a radical God. This is why the Bible is such a revolutionary book. Despite our failures and betrayals, God does the unexpected, and keeps on loving us.