When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
How can we pause to confess our sins, on this high day of Easter exuberance? The same way Jesus paused after breakfast in Galilee to restore Peter. Peter had led the others in boldly resolving to follow Jesus to the death. All the disciples forsook Jesus when He was arrested, Peter included. Peter denied 3 times he knew Jesus right during His trial with the priests and rulers. How many times do we fall into some horrid sin right on Christmas Eve, or Good Friday, or right where we have resolved most to never do that again? The resurrection means we have to face the living Lord we failed and left and sinned against. This grieves us. But Jesus restores, so thoroughly, 3 times for each time Peter denied Him. So tenderly and personally: Simon, son of Jonah. In the same way the risen Lord comes to you and me. But He is kind. He puts all the sin away; and then He sends us on.