God and sinners reconciled

It’s at the heart of what Christmas is all about.

It’s why God reached all the way down from heaven to earth and became one of us. It was the only way to fix the brokenness beneath all our other brokenness.

It’s why Jesus was born.

It’s why he lived, died, and was raised.

Perhaps there’s no better case study of reconciliation than the Risen Jesus’ encounter with Peter in John 21.

All the disciples had failed Jesus, but only Peter had boasted that even if everyone else fell away, he would stand by Jesus to the death.

Wrong. Not even close. Just as Jesus had predicted, Peter denied Jesus three times.

So when the Risen Jesus met Peter and the others by the lake, what would Jesus say?

“How could you, Peter?”

“What were you thinking, Peter?”

“Do you know how much you hurt me, Peter?”

No. None of the above. Three times Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?”

We reduce Christmas to schmaltz. We settle for warm feelings. But you can’t be reconciled to God unless you recognize that you’re a sinner. But the Risen Jesus didn’t point a blood-stained finger from his wounded hand at Peter and shout, “Sinner!” He simply asked, “Do you love me?”

Three times.

Well sinner, do you love him?