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Wednesday, May 25 2011

Why Was Peter Crucified?

Just before Jesus Christ was taken by the mob (see The Bible And The Mob), when the prophecy about the traitor Judas had been delivered to him ("26:23 And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. 26:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born" Matthew 26:23-24 KJV; see The Long Shadow Of Judas), the Messiah prophesied that all of the other eleven would forsake Him that night. When "cocky" Peter responded with a boast that he alone wouldn't do so ("Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended"), the Savior answered with an additional prophecy, specific to Peter - "That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice."

"26:31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. 26:32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee [see also The Prophet Of Galilee].

26:33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.

26:34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice." (Matthew 26:31-34 KJV)

"Thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake He, signifying by what death he should glorify God"

Peter was not a coward. When the mob started to take Jesus, Peter stepped before the Messiah, drew his sword, and started what surely would have been a very fierce and bloody defense of Jesus. When Jesus told Peter to stop, and then allowed Himself to be taken, Peter didn't understand. It was from that confusion that Peter fulfilled the prophecy about himself that he would then deny Christ three times. It happened exactly as Jesus said that it would.

The Crucifixion Of Peter

"26:69 Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. 26:70 But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.

26:71 And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.

26:72 And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.

26:73 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.
26:74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.

26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly." (Matthew 26:69-75 KJV)

After His resurrection, the Christ appeared to the apostles in Jerusalem and in Galilee. The Messiah's question to Peter, repeated three times, "lovest thou me?" was an obvious opportunity to "undeny" his three denials "before the cock crow" (Peter's recorded behavior from that time on was no longer "cocky") at the time of Christ's Crucifixion. But in a further prophecy about the events of His Crucifixion that had transpired, the LORD declared that one day Peter himself would be crucified.

"21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?

He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.

He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

21:16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?

He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

21:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?

Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee.

Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 21:18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 21:19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me." (John 21:15-19 KJV)

As the Christ prophesied, Peter did survive until he was "old" ("when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands"), in order to serve Christ for the time that he was given to do so (see Peter's Ministry). Beginning with his lesson about the price of cockiness (which means "offensive assertiveness") at the time of Christ's Crucifixion, by the time that Peter was crucified (most historians believe that it happened during the rule of Nero, who reigned from 54 to 68, when Peter would have been 60 or more years old), Peter the "elder" very well understood the Godliness of humility. The "exalt" in his "he may exalt you in due time" was actually a Greek word which meant "lift up"; whether he was including his prophesied crucifixion in that statement is unclear, however he surely was referring to the resurrection of all of the faithful in due time (see the Fact Finder question below).

"5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." (1 Peter 5:1-7 KJV)

Fact Finder: When is Peter going to be resurrected?
See Why Two Resurrections?


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This Day In History, May 25

240 BC: The first recorded perihelion ("the point in the orbit of a planet or comet where it is nearest to the sun) passage of what was later named Halley's Comet (after English astronomer Edmund Halley, who, after observing it in 1682, correctly predicted its next return, based on the comet's approximate 75 year return as recorded over the centuries).

1085: Alfonso VI took Toledo, Spain, from the Muslims.

1521: Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (see The Holy Roman Empire) pronounced Martin Luther an outlaw and heretic for refusing to recant his teachings while at the Diet of Worms ("Diet" is a legislative assembly in some countries; "Worms" is the English rendering of "Vorms," a city in Germany). The emperor, not the pope, declared Luther a heretic because of Luther's opposition to the empire's official church.

1810: The people of Buenos Aires expelled Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros, beginning the Argentine War of Independence against Spain.

1914: The British House of Commons passed Irish Home Rule.

1915: Arthur James Balfour (listen to our Sermon The Balfour Declaration) succeeded Winston Churchill as first lord of the Admiralty.

1925: Tennessee schoolteacher John Scopes was indicted for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution (listen to our Sermon Darwin's Theory of Evolution).

1946: Newly-independent Transjordan (as made possible by Britain's defeat of the centuries-old Ottoman control of the Middle East; listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) appointed Abdullah I the their king.

1950: The "Tripartite Declaration" by Britain, the USA and France. It sought to prevent further war in the region of Israel.

1985: A cyclone (a "rapid inward circulation of air masses about a low-pressure center; circling counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern" from the WordWeb Dictionary by Princeton University) and storm surge killed approximately 10,000 people in Bangladesh.

1996: Bulgaria's King Simeon II returned home after 50 years of exile; he fled in 1946 after the Soviet Red Army installed a puppet communist regime (while the Western "democracies" were installing their puppets in the countries under their control and occupation, as is continuing to this day e.g. the foreign "approved" and controlled "leaders" in Iraq and Afghanistan).

2009: North Korea reportedly tested its second nuclear bomb.



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