Peter cried when he realized that he had denied even knowing Jesus. [Mark 14:72]
What makes this even more ironic is that earlier that same day he pledged his support to Jesus, claiming to be willing to die with him. [Mark 14:31]
For most people, admitting that we “know” Jesus is a relatively easy thing to do, yet Peter was confronted with a seemingly life and death situation: say “yes” and he too could be crucified with Jesus; say “no” and he could avoid further scrutiny, thereby saving his skin. In the life-in-the-balance pressure of the moment, Peter caved in and said “no.”
In some parts of the world, admitting that you followed Jesus could easily result in death or at least suffering. How well would we fare in such a test? Would we cave in or be bold regardless of the consequences?
However, beyond the literal, natural meaning of this story there is a more profound supernatural perspective. In the spiritual sense, we can say “yes” we know Jesus and live — forever; saying “no” is what leads to death.