Daryl Crouch, Senior Pastor
A rooster? Really? Surely Jesus could have chosen something else to mark Peter’s failure. Have you ever heard the shrill of a rooster? And have you ever heard that sound early in the morning? If you have, you know what I’m talking about.
The cock-a-doodle-doo is not only obnoxious, but it is relentless. Every morning, it is a jarring reminder a new day has arrived. That rooster does not care what our day was like yesterday, when we went to bed, how we slept, or what our schedule is like today. As much as we want to muzzle the rooster, he bellows out just like he did yesterday and the day before that.
Peter was standing at a fire in the courtyard within earshot of the illegal trial to execute Jesus. Someone else warming by the fire recognized him as one of Jesus’ followers. But Peter played dumb and swore off his loyalties. And in that very moment he denied Jesus for the third time that night. Immediately, a nearby rooster saw dawn coming, cleared his throat, and let it rip. Regret flooded Peter’s soul.
Maybe you know that sound too. Reminders of all the ways you have failed Jesus and others scream at you. The rooster speaks up everyday, regrets pile up, and despair sets in. You try to get past your past, but nothing seems to help. Family, career, affluence, even religion cannot muzzle the rooster of regret.
Jesus died on Friday afternoon, and was buried before dark. And I’m sure the rooster was up and at it again Saturday morning. Saturday was a dark day. Peter and Jesus’ other followers grieved, cowered, and doubted. But when dawn broke on Sunday, something was different. That rooster crowed as loud as he could, but Peter was not listening. Instead, he heard the sound of an empty tomb. He heard, “Jesus is not here. He is risen!”
Many years later he wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
We can try our best to forget our failures. We can try to heal our own wounds if we like. But nothing muzzles the rooster of regret except the sound of the empty tomb. Nothing rescues us from the deadly and devastating consequences of our sin except the living Jesus. He is our one and only hope for our one thousand regrets.