Peter had known about Jesus ever since he was a child; his parents worked diligently with the church ever since he was but a little child. He heard about Jesus everytime at Sunday school and one day, when he was 8, he gave his life to Christ. He loved the lord so much and promised to go all the way with Jesus even if he is faced with death.
The time to fulfil that promise to God came; the government forbade the worship of Christ in their city and threatened to kill everyone who even spoke his name. The church went into hiding, the precious name of Jesus was spoken in secret and his name was whispered only in darkness. Peter could not understand the hypocrisy and challenged the church.
No one listened to him and everyone called him a fool, they said to him “it is wisdom to obey the law, don’t be stupid child, go home to your parents” He was only 15, but he knew what they were doing was wrong. If his Jesus were here, he would never be defeated by the fear of death, his Jesus that faced the Pharisees fearlessly in the bible and challenged them to their face? He must be ashamed of his people for denying him.
Peter remembered the story of Shedrach, Messiach and Abednego, and how God rescued them when they stood for him even in the face of death, he thought about Ruth and how she said fearlessly “If i perish i perish” in a quest to rescue her people and how God won the battle for them, in his heart, he knew what to do. He didn’t tell anyone, even his parents, because he knew they would discourage him.
Early one morning, with shaking hands and unsteady legs, Peter went to the market square and with a loud voice he screamed “Jesus Loves You”. The market fell silent immediately, and all eyes turned on Peter. Some looked angry, some sad, some pitiful but none showed love or recognition, Peter’s heart broke at the denial written on the faces around him, the same faces that sneaked to church in the dark and professed love for God.
It wasn’t long before the officials heard about the scandal and Peter was snatched from his home and isolated. His parents pleaded and said he was only a child but when the officials accused them of feeding the child with such words as he could have only repeated what he heard constantly, they denied him out of fear of being killed. His parents withdrew into the darkness to pray for their child.
Peter was made to face many court gatherings and asked to deny Jesus and apologise for his outburst at the market square, but he refused. He was threatened with fearful punishments, even death, but he refused to deny Jesus. In his heart, he knew Jesus would save him and even if he didn’t he would never deny Jesus.
Peter’s parents felt ashamed for what they had done but fear paralyzed them and they kept consoling themselves with the thought that God would save their child just like he saved his people in the bible. They enlisted the entire hidden church to pray for their son.
One day, it was announced that Peter would be given a final chance to deny Jesus publicly or be killed. Everyone gathered at the market square to witness the event. Some came to mock the stupidity of the child, others came with pitiful hearts hoping the child would save himself. The church members came with hushed silence, hoping that God will work a miracle and save the boy.
When Peter was brought out, everyone fell silent and only a few gasps and sniffs were heard in the crowd. He wore the same cloth he was wearing when they snatched him a month ago, he looked lean and a bit tattered, but in his eyes was a sparkle that no one could understand.
“We bring you out today to give you another chance to deny Jesus in the presence of the entire community or be killed. Peter, do you deny Jesus this day?” the official asked.
Peter looked up and saw his parents in the front row, his mother’s eyes were swollen and his dad held on to her as she shook in his arms. He looked into the eyes of other people he could recognise and saw them plead with him to deny Jesus. Then he turned his eyes to the heavens and said “How can i deny the one who loves me so dearly and would never deny me”.
There was uproar and the official tried to quieten the crowd. “This is our judgement, just as you have disobeyed the laws of the land, you will be beheaded this minute”. The crowd went wild again, some people shouted “He’s only a child, leave him alone”. However, the law had spoken and had to be carried out.
As the soldiers prepared to behead Peter, he cried. He knew if he denied Jesus, he would be free, he would go back into hiding and everyone would be happy, but he knew it would haunt him for the rest of his life. The hidden church prayed silently in their hearts that God would work a miracle and save Peter, just like he did in the bible.
When it was all set, Peter was asked to say his final words. He looked up to heaven, kept believing that God would save him. The church had faith; they also believed God would save him. Peter looked into the eyes of everyone and sang from the depth of his heart.
Jesus i enthrone you
I proclaim you as king
Standing here in the midst of all
I raise you high with my praise
And as i worship build your throne
And as i worship build your throne
And as i worship build your throne
Come Lord Jesus and take your place.
Peter meant the song to be a prayer to God, he knew his stand for God was an act of worship to God and he prayed that God would use it to change his community and take his place in the land.
Tears fell from his face as he raised his hands to the king. When he was done, the soldiers snatched him and cut off his head. There was no rolling thunder, or sudden earthquake. There was no loud voice or an invisible hand to stop them from killing him, there was only the sudden realization that Peter was dead. Peter’s mother knelt down and held the soil tight with her hands; she let out a heart wrenching cry that poured the pain in her heart.
The crowd dispersed and Peter’s body was handed over to his parents for burial. The church gathered in the darkness and no one could speak of what had happened. No one could understand why God did not save the child. However, their hearts were heavy with a burden and strength built up within them. They talked about the song Peter sang and acknowledged how he was the only one who had truly worshipped God, and his sacrifice was the highest form of worship to God. They were ashamed for their denial and how God had gotten their attention only with the death of a child.
That act of worship had kindled a flame in their hearts and they knew they could not keep going into hiding. Many other hearts were being stirred in the city, Peter’s song was working miracles, he’s death was bringing people back to God. There was a revival in the land, the church came out of hiding and other people joined them to proclaim Christ in one accord. There was a battle, the government was overthrown and someone else replaced him.
All this happened because one little boy truly worshipped God. Worship goes beyond songs, it is a lifestyle, it’s in the little sacrifice we make for God, the obedience, the faith, the love we show to everyone around us, and it’s in trusting him.
Most of all, what if God had saved Peter, there would have been no revival, everyone would have gone back to hiding, taking the gospel along with them. Every bad thing that happens to Christians is not for shame or discouragement, God always has a plan. He sees the big picture, he knows everything. His plan is always for good and not evil.
Peter died so that there can be a revival in the land, whatever has happened to you is for a purpose, if you can rest in his presence and stop hating him and pushing God away, you will see his purpose in that situation. We cannot always understand the ways of God; we can only trust that he will never do anything to hurt us, he always seeks for our good.
It will be painful, but God wounds that he might heal. Just worship the father, let him fill you with his love.