Matt 26:72-75: “But again he denied with an oath, ‘I do not know the Man!’ 73 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, ‘Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.’ 74 Then he began to curse and swear, saying, ‘I do not know the Man! Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ So he went out and wept bitterly.”
The sadness of this story is that it is so human. Peter was the original Christ-follower. He was the uncouth, loud, and zealous disciple that was not going to change the true nature of himself for anybody. He was bold and in your face, and he did not care if you liked him or not. He was the only other person who walked on the stormy sea, and a few hours before this scene, he pulled a sword as to kill for his Lord (John 18:12). Yet when he sees the master tortured and the prospect of his own mortality is questioned, he is not so valiant as he was in the garden. At the Last Supper Peter said, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" And so said all the disciples.
The scripture says when he realized what he did, that he wept bitterly. Peter had to confront his sin in the way a true Christ-follower must. When we sin there should be a sorrow that comes from the inner recesses of our being, knowing that we denied Jesus. We deny Jesus every time we sin. We let ourselves be talked into making our lives, our comfort, and our pleasure more important then Jesus; when we do that we become self-worshippers. We make ourselves the king of our hearts. Peter made a very human mistake that cost him dearly.
The exciting thing about this story is that he did not stay in that depressed and defeated state. He is restored by the very one he denies. Jesus knows he repented, and after Jesus is resurrected, Jesus goes to Peter and tells him to carry on the ministry and bring the message to the world. The book of Acts records the first sermon preached after Jesus ascended into heaven. The preacher was Peter and 3000 souls were added to the kingdom that day. God can use anyone. However, the difference between Peter and Judas is that Peter had true repentance. Judas only realized what he did was wrong and changed his mind, but never sought forgiveness. Sin is something that needs to be wept over, and Peter wept.
Old Testament: Lev. 15-17 New Testament Matt 27:1-31