Can’t Go Back (Matthew 26:33-35)

Acrochordons are a common skin condition. Don’t know it? The popular term is skin tags. You’ve seen them or perhaps even have them. Most of the time they are removed for cosmetic reasons although occasionally they may bleed or become infected. Many physicians do not even bother submitting the specimen for a tissue diagnosis since the clinical diagnosis is obvious. However, if there is anything atypical about the skin tag, it should be submitted to the surgical pathologist for a formal diagnostic interpretation. There are many other diseases that may mimic a skin tag. As a dermatopathologist, I have reviewed thousands and can attest that rarely, some surprising diagnoses are rendered.

Many years ago, I received a specimen from a physician who removed about a dozen skin tags on a patient and submitted them all in a single container.  The next day, when I reviewed the microscopic slide, I was shocked to discover that one of the skin tags contained a malignant melanoma. I immediately called the physician and informed him of the diagnosis. There was a long pause on the phone until he quietly asked, “Do you know the site from which this melanoma was taken?”

I knew he would ask that and slowly answered. “Unfortunately, no. It was all placed in one container and labeled “Back, arms, and neck.”

He knew it would be impossible to determine which body site this skin tag was taken because they were all about the same size. I don’t know the outcome of this sad situation but I knew he literally could not go back and re-excise a dozen different sites, the recommended treatment for a melanoma of the skin.

There are many situations we encounter in life in which we wish we could go back and redo it. The harsh word. The rolling of the eyes. We all know these without listing every possibility. Most of the time, it is something only we are aware. The pain is when our actions lead to an outcome that hurts others.

The Apostle Peter understood this. Peter, one of the chief disciples of Jesus Christ, was always willing to support his master. At one point, he boldly declared that even if he had to die for Him, he would never disavow him. He would regret those words.

Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same. 

Matthew 26:33-35 (NLT)

A short time later, Jesus was arrested by the Jewish authorities. Lurking in the courtyard, different people thought they recognized him and questioned Peter whether he knew Jesus. Peter denied knowing Jesus three times and after the third denial, the rooster immediately crowed. Peter knew he could not go back. 

At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly. 

Luke 22:61-62 (NLT)

After He was resurrected, Jesus restored Peter as His disciple and used him to preach the Gospels to the Jews. In life, we often can’t go back and undo bad decisions. Although Peter could not go back and undo his actions, God offered him a second chance. God offers all of us a second chance to repent and turn from our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. However, we only have this lifetime to do this. Don’t wait. 

You can’t go back.

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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