Good Friday: Peter’s Betrayal and Jesus’s Words from the Cross

How might we be more like Jesus, understanding others intuitively through love?


The Good Friday lectionary is long! Two whole chapters: John 18 and 19. You may read and pray and meditate on all it all. But for this podcast, Lindsey and Adam are concentrating on one key section from each chapter.

First, Peter’s betrayal of Jesus (John 18:15-18 and 25-27). “Again Peter denied it [being with Jesus], and at that moment the cock crowed.”

How did Jesus know Peter would deny him? Is it because Jesus has divine knowledge, because he is the Son of God?

Actually, maybe we should re-define “divine knowledge.” Maybe it’s not about knowing the future, but about having a deep, intuitive knowledge of humanity that comes through love.

Jesus knew Peter. He knew not just that Peter would be afraid, but also that he would yearn for belonging. Notice that Peter inserts himself into the crowd before the people ask if he was with Jesus. He isn’t just running away; he is seeking out a new community now that the one he knows – and his sense of purpose along with it – is dissolved.

How are we like Peter, longing for the security of belonging? Afraid as much of being alone as we are for our physical safety?

How might we be more like Jesus, understanding others intuitively through love?

Next, Jesus’s words on the cross (John 19:25-30). John only gives us three of his statements. First, Jesus says to his mother, “Woman, behold your son,” and to his beloved disciple, “Here is your mother.” Then Jesus says, “I am thirsty.” Finally, just before he dies, he says, “It is finished.”

There’s something beautiful about ensuring that loved ones will be in good hands when you die, about creating new familial bonds around yourself that can be sustained after your death. But there’s more going on here. To understand the deeper meaning of Jesus’s words, listen to the podcast!

What is Jesus thirsty for? What can quench his parched spirit… and ours?

What, exactly, is finished? What new thing may now begin?

The Olive

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