Friday, March 28, 2008

Taking away sin

I was expecting Easter Saturday to continue the story of Jesus' last appearance to the disciples, but instead, the Gospel is from Mark! If we had stayed with John, we would have been brought back to Holy Thursday. I had often heard that Jesus' threefold "Do you love me?" to Peter was to set right his threefold denial, something that seemed a bit of a pious stretch to me. John's Greek shows that I was wrong. The clue is in one simple word, one simple image, that appears in only two scenes in the whole Bible (at Peter's denial and then here, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee): the "charcoal" fire. Peter denied the Lord while warming himself at a charcoal fire. Now, as they eat fish and bread around a charcoal fire on the beach, Jesus asks Peter to retract that denial. This is how Jesus wins us back after sin: not by pushing our faces into our sin, but undoing it by eliciting its exact opposite from us freely.


nate said...

Great post! I couldn't sleep, so I read through Paul's letters to Timothy and find myself convicted of my sin. I appreciate your concern for the greek, but even more so, the message in this post.

Anonymous said...

just looked at your family picture again...cuter than I had remembered. wf