The Great Turn Around (7 of 7) by Roger Thomas

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The Great Turn Around (7 of 7)
Life with Peter series
Roger Thomas
Matthew 26:69-27:5; Acts 4:1-13
August 26, 2001

Something happened between Good Friday and Easter evening. That it happened cannot be denied. A dozen men turned tail and ran, completely abandoning Jesus. They left him to face his accusers and tormentors totally alone. But within a few days, certainly within a few weeks, those same men were suddenly willing to take a stand for Jesus. You might term it the Great Turn Around.

Peter provides the most graphic example of this great turn around. Today he is likely to be called St. Peter. Roman Catholic tradition points to him as the foundation stone of the church. Our culture is filled with all sorts of mythical stories and jokes involving St. Peter on duty at the Pearly Gates. Almost everyone would nominate Peter for a place in the Religious Hall of Fame. But he didn't look like it on Friday morning!

How that stammering, cowardly, faith denying disciple turned into the bold, courageous champion for Jesus is one of the great human interest stories of all time—whether a person is a believer or not!

This great turn around is important for another reason as well. In our heart of hearts, we can all identify with Peter. That is why his life is so compelling. We all fail. We all make mistakes. At least, most of us. Preachers, of course, are exceptions to this rule. For example, I actually thought I made a mistake once, but after further reflection, I realized I was wrong! [You may have to think about that one for a while. That is one of those new bits of time release humor. It will sneak up on some of you in about fifteen minutes!]

"All have sinned," the Bible tells us. We know that even if Scripture didn't say it. Our experience, our consciences—if not that then our spouses or mothers-in-law—are sure to remind us of our shortcomings. We live in an interesting age, however. Our world has a "split personality" when i ...

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