Looking through the Cross – Failure

Passage: Mark 14:66-72

As we continue our series based on the book "Looking through the Cross" by Graham Tomlin, Jonny looks at the topic of "Failure".

Music for the introduction: "Acoustic Breeze" from Bensound.com. Other music taken from Worship Lyric Videos - all rights reserved - and used with their permission.


The following is an audio of the sermon.


Peter goes to Jesus on the water - Matthew 14:22-36
Peter calls Jesus the Christ and subsequent misunderstanding - Matthew 16:13-23; Mark 8:27-33
The transfiguration - Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36
Peter defends Jesus with a sword at Gethsemane: Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-50; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:1-10

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Matthew 16:18-19

In his infinite and tender mercy the Lord, who in his sovereign providence controls all things, including even roosters, comes to the rescue.
(William Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary: Mark. p621)

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.”
Mark 14:30

Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Luke 22:60-62


Psalm 85

Psalm 85 is a prayer in the midst of a crisis. Things are dark and dismal for the Psalmist and his community. They've failed and disobeyed; clouds are above and waves below. How do they bring all this messiness and distress to a perfect God? And how do we do the same when we find ourselves in this position?

1) Remembering and giving thanks for God's actions in times of past failure.
Verse 1-2 'You showed favour to your land, O Lord; you restored the fortunes of Jacob. You forgave the inquity of your people and covered all their sins.'

Stop and think about past mistakes or moments of crisis. Where was God in these? (Ask him to show you if you're not very sure.) Take a minute to dwell on what you've remembered, and give thanks to God.

2) Ask for his favour and intervention once more.
Verse 4 & 7 'Restore us again, O God our Saviour... show us your unfailing love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.

Bring him what's on your heart for yourself and your community. Call out for him to act and save, remembering you are a fully forgiven child of God.

3) Have confidence in God's response.
Verse 8 & 12 'I will listen to what the Lord will say; he promises peace to his people... The Lord will indeed give what is good.'

Look expectantly to a God who speaks and acts. Thank him that his peace is promised and that we can trust him to do what's ultimately best.

The psalm reminds us that whatever our circumstances, the safest place to be is in a place of worship. Close your time of meditation with a moment of worship by declaring aloud the words of this psalm.

(Contributed by ML Clipston)

Isaiah 44:22

I have swept away your offences like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me, for I have redeemed you.

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