(Opening titles) Hello again, on anotherbright and beautiful day.
It's been great journeyingwith you this week through a series oflife-changing encounters that people had with Jesus, after His resurrection inJohn chapter 20 and 21.
And what we've seen everyday is people being able to make sense of their lives and questions through meeting with Jesus.
He's able to free us to levels emotionally wenever thought possible.
We saw that with Mary Magdalene.
Jesus gives brand new hopeand purpose for the future.
We saw that with the disciples.
And Jesus satisfies ourintellectual curiosity too.
We saw that with Thomas.
And one person who's beenthere for all of that, who saw the empty tomb with Mary, who was there when thedisciples were commissioned and witnessed all the events with Thomas first-hand, is Peter.
But even with hearing allof that amazing stuff, all Peter can think to do in response is exactly what he did before, go fishing.
It seems really strange, Peter doesn't seem really able to hear this good news and thinkthat he's included.
And it's because his heart and mind are weighed down by shame.
Shame is numbing hissenses and making him feel that whatever this new Jesus stuff is, he can't be part of it.
And the context is that rightbefore Jesus was crucified, Peter made all sorts of declarations about being willing todo anything for Jesus, go anywhere with Jesus, even being willing to die for Jesus.
But beside a campfire, on that fateful evening, when a servant girl asks himwhether he merely knows Jesus, Peter denies it not just once, not just twice, but a full three times.
In Luke's Gospel, we read that after this happened a rooster crowed.
And then chapter 22 verse 61, the Lord turned and looked at Peter.
You can just imagine this penetrating him, the crushing sense of shame setting in, Peter's heart just dying inside, all of his sense of identity crumbling.
He's not half the man he thought he was, maybe not even a quarter.
If only he could turn back time.
Shame is a complex thing.
But part of how it works isthrough the internalization of deep dissatisfaction with ourselves against one of two standards.
Standards of our own, the type of person wethink we are or want to be, or standards of the community around us and what the expectationsof our society tend to be.
And Peter feels shameon both of those fronts.
And as opposed to guilt, for which we tend to think justice comes in the form of accepting somepunishment external to us.
Justice for shame we thinkis much more internal.
And involves a repudiationor rejection of ourselves.
It's a feeling of simply being unworthy of acceptance and love because of this or that thing that we've done.
And I don't know whether anything pops into your mind when you hear that, I know a number ofthings pop into my mind.
So Peter goes fishing anddoesn't catch a thing.
But with the dawn of a new day, there's another firecrackling on the beach and Jesus is standing beside this fire.
And the smell and signs of the moment of Peter's shame come back to him.
This is so visceral.
Jesus says to Peter:”Come, have breakfast.
” I love that.
That's one of the purest statements of the gospel I can think of.
And then He asks Peter, three questions: “Do you love me?” “Do you love me?” “Do you love me?” Three questions in placeof those three denials that Peter had before.
Peter does love Jesus, he always has.
But the issue had not been whether Peter was willing to die for Jesus.
It was that Jesus needed to die for Peter in order for him to be allwhat he was made to be.
And in Jesus's resurrection, Peter finds that there isan antidote to his shame, going to the roots of his denial and sin, receiving love and forgiveness.
The antidote is inrecognition of the third and highest standard by which the value of our lives is measured.
A standard which trumps the first two.
That the God of the universeHas loved us so much; He has deemed relationshipwith us worthy of dying for and suffered rejectionso that we don't have to.
By this, the ultimate standard, Peter's shame and ours falls away.
Wherever you are at today, can you hear Jesus saying to you, “Come have breakfast” – eat with me.
I don't reject you, look me in the eye and see that I've gotsomething far more exciting than just a life of fishingand catching nothing for you.
My resurrection is the guarantee of it.
If you will just accept justification, not by your own standardsbut by mine at the cross.
“Come have breakfast.