For Whom the Rooster Crows
Ask not for whom the rooster crows.
It crows for me.
I need it to.
You probably know how this went. The disciples gathered with Jesus in a small room on one of those funny-feeling nights. They sat close, smelled the day’s end sweat that filled the small room as they shared food and drink. He spoke softly to them, at last no need to shout above a clamoring crowd.
These were the days they lived for. Just Jesus and a few good friends.
But as much as they treasured these stolen moments together, time slipped away even as they tried to wrap their fingers around it. And something just didn’t seem right.
The Master had washed their feet — servants’ work.
He spoke of how they would remember Him. Where was He going?
And then that dark cloud they’d been sensing opened wide and the storm rushed in. Jesus predicted that one of them, one in that very room, would turn on Him. One would break the hearts of all and give their Beloved away.
Peter jumped up from the table and blew out his arrogant chest. Didn’t matter to him what any of the others would do. He would stay. No matter what.
He would face prison. He would face death.
But he would never betray him.
He would never fall away.
Jesus’ shoulders drooped a little as He quietly said that yes, he would, in fact, sell Him out.
I’m sorry to have to tell you this, Peter, but before the rooster crows you will have three times denied that you know me. (Luke 22:34, MSG)
Before the rooster crows.
Peter went on to prove himself well. He stood his ground when the soldiers rushed into the garden, slashing his sword to wound at least one. But soon enough, the air fizzled out of his chest and he did it, just like Jesus said he would.
He denied being His friend.
Denied being His follower.
Denied even knowing Him.
Boom, boom, boom.
He went off, three times in sequence.
Absent is a sense of Peter seeing what unfolded as the words rushed out of his mouth. He made no effort to stop the flow. He did not awaken as he felt the waters rising at his feet.
At least, not until the rooster crowed.
The third time, as the words left his lips, the rooster crowed. At that moment, he and his Lord met eyes.
He knew what he had done. And he collapsed into that pool of shame.
But first, the rooster had to crow.
The rooster let loose a scream in that early morning that turned Peter’s blood to ice. With the rooster’s crow, he looked Jesus in the eye, and in that same moment saw himself. He saw his sin, his failure, his betrayal.
And at that, he went out and “he cried and cried and cried.”
In the midst of Peter’s tears, I see how I need the rooster to crow.
I consider that I need to raise some roosters in my yard, the kind that will cackle and crow when I move toward my sin.
The rooster raised Peter’s eyes, and he looked up at Jesus. The rooster woke him and sent him out to mourn over his sin, inviting him into Jesus’ redemptive work.
The rooster, it seems, thrust Peter down that path of repentance that led to a glorious moment of restoration when Jesus three times gave Peter the opportunity to declare his love and loyalty.
Peter, now with chest not so puffed full of hot air as pounding with the heart of the redeemed, could declare, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.”
Noisy, they are. But the roosters in my yard are gracious to awaken me to the dawn of my redemption.
Never send to know for whom the rooster crows.
It crows for me.
Would you share with us some of the ways He raises roosters in your back yard, awakening you to your need, inviting you to repentance and restoration?
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