Luke 22:55New International Version (NIV)
55 And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them.
There is nothing more resting than sitting around a charcoal fire in the evening. Sitting back, watching the charcoals burst and crackle. This is a moment of relaxation to calm a man’s mind at night.
For the Apostle Peter, that night he was warming himself by the fire and nervously trying to blend into the crowd. All this while an innocent man in whom he pledged his life would, in a few hours, get brutally tortured, humiliated, and murdered. This was not a night of rest.
Peter was a strong leader, and a man who placed high value on honesty, integrity, and loyalty. He was a man of his word, but on this night, he would deny knowing the man whom he called the Messiah. All this while warming himself by a charcoal fire.
Later, after his denial, he hit rock bottom in life. Again, he would face another charcoal fire at a place they call, Peter’s Primacy. Here, Peter is forgiven by the man he denied, and he is given three opportunities to receive reconciliation between himself and Jesus.
The two charcoal fires provide two events in salvation. It is as if Christ took Peter back to that courtyard when he built that fire on the shore of Galilee that morning. This was a place of forgiveness for Peter, and it was the justification Christ won for us all on the cross.
In a way, the confessional is our charcoal fire. It is a place of confession where we meet Christ, who sits on the throne as the High Priest. The charcoal fire allows us a place of mercy to give us a place of reconciliation. Without the second fire, Peter would have never recovered from his sorrow and guilt. He would never have been able to be the shepherd for Christ’s flock. All this had he not had the charcoal fire moments.
Strength and Courage