“At that moment a rooster began to crow.”—John 18:27, NIV
The moment that rooster crowed, Simon Peter’s life was wrenched into a new dimension.
Jesus predicted that Peter would betray Him three times “before the rooster crows.” Peter valiantly replied, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” (Matthew 26:35).
But to be associated with Jesus of Nazareth was dangerous.
Peter caved into fear and denied his relationship with Jesus three times. Then he felt sick, knowing what he had done. The moment that rooster crowed, the moment he heard that piercing sound, Peter remembered Jesus’ prediction and he “went out and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:62).
Peter wept in abject repentance; his heart ached, and he saw himself for the weak, frightened man that he was.
Jesus had promised Peter that He would pray for him, and now His prayers were being answered as Peter humbled himself before God and cried tears of regret and sorrow. His breaking heart would soon be restored and he would emerge a far stronger man of faith than the brash, younger Peter, once so full of bravado and self-confidence. For Peter, the sound of the rooster crow ushered in repentance and the dawn of the new day.
Judas also betrayed Jesus, but his bitter remorse did not turn to repentance but rather to self-destruction. He was “seized with remorse” and committed suicide in despair.
When the “rooster crows” in our lives—when a warning, a reminder, a wake-up call stirs our conscience and opens our eyes to the truth—we can choose to respond with repentance like Peter or with despair, like Judas.
Life or death.
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” —2 Corinthians 7:10, NIV