When He came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen… Then seizing Him [Jesus], they led Him away and took Him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. – Luke 19:37 & Luke 22:54
Peter was by Jesus’ side when the crowds cheered their entry into Jerusalem. Can’t you just imagine him, bursting with pride at being right there next to the King? As one of Jesus’ three closest disciples, he went everywhere with Him: in the temple when He taught, the Upper Room where He bared His soul, the Garden of Gethsemane as He submitted to His human destiny. But when the tide turned, Peter disappeared, distancing himself from Jesus, his friend, Master and Lord.
The person of Peter is a perfect analogy for the dichotomy of the Holy Week story, from the exuberant adoration of the crowds to the cruelty of the crucifixion. Peter, like everyone that week, had a choice. In an epic fail, he crumbled under the pressure. And yet, just as the first day of the next week brought a new hope for the world with Jesus’ resurrection, Peter too found a brand new destiny before him which would lead him back to the Lord from whom he would never separate himself again.