March 11, 2022
“‘Lord,’ he told Him, ‘I’m ready to go with You both to prison and to death!’ ‘I tell you, Peter,’ He said, ‘the rooster will not crow today until you deny three times that you know me.’”
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“‘Lord,’ he told Him, ‘I’m ready to go with You both to prison and to death!’ ‘I tell you, Peter,’ He said, ‘the rooster will not crow today until you deny three times that you know me.’” Luke 22:33-34
There are three major festivals in the Jewish calendar, collectively known as the “Shalosh Regalim.” Shalosh means “three,” and Regalim means “feet”…therefore, Shalosh Regalim translates: “Three On Foot.” These three festivals were when Jewish people were required to make pilgrimages to Jerusalem on foot.
The common Jewish reference for “Shalosh Regalim” was “The Three Times.”
It is essential to know the significance of these festivals because when Jesus told Peter he would deny Him “Three Times,” He was quite possibly referring to Israel’s rejection of the essence of Shalosh Regalim. So, what are the three festivals, and what do they communicate to the Hebrew mindset?
Pesach (Passover): Exodus from Egypt and slavery
Shavuot: Giving of the10 commandments, also known as Pentecost.
Sukkot: The 40 years when the Israelites wandered in the Sinai Desert, living in temporary shelters.
Each event marks a time of harvest in Israel. Each symbolically expresses fundamental religious and ethical ideas/values in Judaism and continues with the Church.
Pesach: God’s miraculous deliverance of the Hebrews from Egyptian slavery proves His power to deliver and to keep His Word. Similarly, believers are delivered from the bondage of this world, and we await His promise of ultimate deliverance on the Last Day.
Shavuot: The giving of the law/God’s revelation. On Shavuot (Pentecost), God gave the Holy Spirit to those who believed and committed to following Messiah.
Sukkot: The Hebrews’ miraculous 40-year survival in the desert proves Divine guidance and abiding presence. God guides believers in Jesus as we trust in Him, leaning not on our understanding but acknowledging Him in all our ways. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
In essence, Jesus’ message to Peter is also His message to Israel as a nation: “You say you will follow me anywhere. In actuality, you deny Me by denying the spiritual intent of the “Three Times.” You will deny My power to deliver, My revelation, and My divine presence & guidance…all before your “new beginning.” **The rooster is a Hebrew symbol of new beginnings because he heralds the dawn of the new day.
To embark on a new beginning...to be “saved,” WE must 1) Recognize God’s power and desire to deliver us, 2) Admit we fall short of His standard, revealed to us in the Bible, made clear to us by the work of the Holy Spirit. 3) Trust Jesus’ atonement and promise to abide with us, forever, in this life and for all eternity in the Kingdom to come, resurrecting & gathering His own to Himself.