WHEN THE COCK CROWED
(Peter Denies Christ)
Story by Dawn Driesbach
I stood, warming myself by the fire in the high priests courtyard. There were many people all around; servants, soldiers, and others were attempting to warm themselves by the fire. Thoughts were whirling around in my head-questions, accusations, fears, and doubts. I was not sure what to do or where to go. All I knew was that I had to stay as close to Jesus as I could.
Only hours ago, we had been in the garden of Gethsemane. I had been so tired, yet I knew Jesus was disappointed in James, John, and I when we had fallen asleep there. I did not understand why Jesus was so disturbed, but everything he has been telling lately is beginning to make sense now. Did He know that the Jews were coming to the Garden? Why did He not stop them from taking Him captive? Why did He not use His power?
Of course He knew Judas was going to betray Him. He had said so right before Judas had come into the Garden! Why? Why, Jesus? I do not understand. All I know is that there are people all around me that do not like Him. These people do not believe in His power. They have seen His miracles and yet hate Him. Will they hate me too, if they know I am His friend?
"You too were with Jesus the Nazarene, were you not?" The words startled me out of my thoughts, and I turned to see a young servant-girl beside me. She was looking at me, as if she recognized that I was one of Jesus friends.
"I do not know what you are talking about," I hastily replied. If they knew I was one of the twelve, I would be cast from here as well! I could not be associated with a criminal. But was He a criminal? Was He at any fault? He had done nothing wrong! I made my way out of the courtyard towards the gate.
"You too were with Him!" another maidservant exclaimed.
" I do not know what you are talking about!" I was shocked as I denied Him again, and fear and anger welled up inside of me.
Another hour passed. I quietly passed. I quietly conversed with those around me, discussing the events of the day. Yet my mind was concentrated on one thing alone. Where and when would I see Jesus again? What would He say if He knew I had denied knowing Him? Was I not right in doing so, for my own protection? Surely He would not expect me to openly claim His name!
"Surely you too are one of them!"
"This man was with the Galilean. I am sure I saw you in the Garden!" Those around me began to look, point, and stare.
"I told you, I do not know the man!" I screamed out. And then I heard it. The cock crowed. It shattered the chilly night air. My mind raced as I recalled Jesus words to me earlier in the day.
"Before the cock crows today, you will deny Me three times, Peter." I was so sure he could not be right, but He was. I had denied my Jesus. I had denied my lord, not only once, but three times.
I looked about the courtyard. The soldiers had brought Him in. As I looked, He raised his head and looked at me. His loving eyes were dark and red with sadness and Pain. I hurried out of the courtyard weeping bitterly. I had denied Him. He had been correct about me, about my loyalty. I am so sorry! I did not mean to deny You! Please forgive me, Lord! I know there is only one thing I can do. I must beg His forgiveness and commit to follow Him. I will follow Him until the day I die.
Comprehension Questions from When the Cock Crowed
- Where was Jesus when the Jews came to take Him captive?
- Where was Peter when he denied Jesus the first time?
- What time of day was it when Peter denied Jesus?
- Why do you think Peter denied Jesus?
- What did Peter remember when the cock crowed?
- How do you think Jesus felt when he looked at peter across the courtyard?
- The Garden of Gethsemane
- In the high priests courtyard
- He was afraid of what the people would say or do to him; he was afraid they would hate him.
- Jesus words earlier; that Peter would betray Him three times before the cock crowed.
- Sad and hurt. He had compassion on Peter, though, because he loved him.
- Peter stands in the courtyard
- Peter is keeping warm
- Peter is confused about Jesus captivity
- Peter is scared
- Peter thinks back to the Garden of Gethsemane
- Peter does not understand
- Peter questions what has been happening
- Peter wonders what others will think of him
- Peter is questioned
- A servant girl questions Peter
- Peter denies knowing Jesus
- Another maid questions Peter
- Peter denies knowing Jesus a second time
- Later, another man questions Peter
- Peter angrily denies Jesus a third time
- The cock crows
- The cock crows
- Peter realizes Jesus had predicted his denials
- Peter is ashamed and in sorrow
- Jesus looks at Peter in sadness and love
- Peter weeps over his sin
Props: Male teacher, parent, or principal; clothes like Peter would wear so that Peter himself could be telling the story (old plain colored dress shirt with fishing type pants, or old robe with belt); other people to be bystanders and those that asked peter the questions.