The time had come. The mob had come to seize Jesus. Peter’s response is to draw a sword and defend his friend. But when Jesus made it clear there would be no violence on their part, the disciples now decided to flee. All of them. One did not even take time to put clothes on and flees naked. These men who had seen the miracles up close and personal, who had seen and experienced Jesus’ love and compassion, who had been forewarned what would happen, abandon their friend like sniveling cowards.
Yet when Jesus appears to His disciples after His resurrection, He never once mentions their abandonment. He doesn’t sit around the campfire and laugh at them. “John, you were so scared you ran away naked.” Why? Perhaps he meant it when He declared on the cross, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Perhaps that forgiveness penetrated the crowd standing their yelling “crucify him”, reached the disciples in hiding, and flowed to you and I today. Perhaps, Jesus was modeling a truth that the Holy Spirit would later reveal to Paul, “There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ.”
His best friends in the world abandoned Him. He forgave them without ever reminding them of their sin. That same forgiveness extends to you and I. He is not reminding you of your past. He does not sit around the campfire with the Holy Spirit and the Father laughing and reminiscing about our past mistakes. His forgiveness is complete and given freely. Receive His forgiveness. Put your past behind you and like the disciples go out and change the world.
“Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” Then everyone deserted him and fled. (Mark 14:48-50 NIV)