It could have been Caiaphas’ rooster that crowed that early morning, but there’s really no way of knowing. All we know is the rooster was near enough for Peter to hear it. He was in Caiaphas’ courtyard where Jesus was being subjected to a blasphemous trial of false accusations, slaps and beatings. Wouldn’t it be ironic if it were Caiaphas’ rooster that sent the wake-up message to Peter.
Earlier Peter boosted about his devotion to Jesus, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” But Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me” (Luke 22:3). That is exactly what happened. Peter denied he knew Jesus three times and while he was denying the third time, the rooster crowed and Jesus turned to look at Peter. Poor Peter was devastated (Luke 22:60-62).
The timing of the heart stopping crowing was miraculous, but it was more than a miracle. The rooster was sending Peter a soul saving message and only Jesus and Peter knew the significance of it.
The scene must have looked hopeless. His master stood bound and helpless, surrounded by a vicious crowd and an angry high priest shouting in His face. The end of Jesus was near so the temptation to deny overcame Peter. No matter how hopeless the scene must have appeared to Peter, the rooster’s crowing reminded him it was not hopeless; Jesus was still in control. He had told Peter what would happen and it did, but Peter wasn’t really listening and fear overcame him. We must never forget Jesus is always in control. When fear and despair comes we must remember the words of hope… “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6).
The rooster also reminded Peter that Jesus knows His followers. He knows what they are thinking, saying and doing. Jesus knew where Peter was in the courtyard and Peter realized it when Jesus turned to look at him (Luke 22:61). It was Peter’s darkest hour and Jesus was watching. In our darkest hour, Jesus is nearby watching and waiting; waiting for us to trust Him. He is there, He is the way of escape: nothing “…will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39). …“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
When the rooster announced the coming of a new day, Peter found sorrow, godly sorrow, the kind of sorrow that brings repentance. Maybe it was a message of hope that Peter remembered from the words of his Lord, “When you have returned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke22:32). Forgiveness was waiting for Peter. No matter how far we may fall, forgiveness is always waiting. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:17).
It was an early morning message for Peter. It was message of faith, repentance, and hope and it came from a lowly rooster.