It’s easy to forget what you had for lunch yesterday, or even what day it is! Reaching mid-life, it’s easy to forget things like, what did I walk into this room to do? Where did I put my glasses?
But what’s too easy to remember are all those mistakes or mishaps we’ve made. It doesn’t matter if it was yesterday or ten years ago, those memories can stay with us robbing us of joy.
Jesus Remembers the Details
Matthew 10:30 tells us “Even the hairs of your head are all counted.” My apologies to those who no longer have hair, but you once did.
This is one example of Jesus remembering the details. Another is the story of Peter denying Jesus three times. How could Peter ever forget that??? Jesus helps Peter forget by recreating part of that memory.
In the New Testament, there are only two references of a charcoal fire. Both appear in the book of John. John 18:17-18 documents when Peter denied that he knew Jesus three times. He was standing by a charcoal fire. In John 21 Jesus prepares a charcoal fire to feed the disciples after he was resurrected. He asks Peter three times if he loves him. Then he tells him to feed his sheep.
How Jesus Helps Us to Forget
How traumatized Peter must have been to deny Jesus. I’m sure any time he was near a charcoal fire, he would be transported back to that horrible time. What we smell more than what we see affects our brains that trigger emotions and memories. Researchers Richard Axel and Linda Buck won the Nobel Prize for decoding how smells affect the brain in this way.
The resurrected Jesus resurrects that memory of a charcoal fire. Only this memory will replace Peter’s denying that he knew Jesus three times by inviting Peter to affirm his love for him three times.
We have a God and Savior that not only knows how many hairs that we have on our heads but is there to transform our mistakes into forgiveness.
I’m glad that Jesus is in the details. Whatever you are facing right now or will face in the future, know that you have someone who knows everything about you, and is present with you to transform your suffering into joy, peace, and restoration. That is how Jesus helps us to remember and forget.
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