In a friendly game of golf, with rules a bit more relaxed, a mulligan can be used. A mulligan is basically a “do-over” of a particular shot when the player doesn’t like the result. Many say there are no mulligans in life, but if you have Jesus Christ, that may not be entirely true.
Despite emphatically telling Jesus in Mark 14:31, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you,” Peter denied Jesus three times in the most critical moment. To not be identified with Jesus, Peter even swore and cursed. “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” (Mark 14:71) Realizing he’d failed his Lord, Peter “broke down and wept.” (Mark 14:72) If anyone needed a mulligan, a real do-over, it was Peter. We’ve probably all felt like Peter at some point.
Thanks entirely to Jesus, Peter actually got his mulligan. After He rose from the dead, Jesus appeared to seven disciples, including Peter. Three times Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” (John 21:15-19) Peter affirmed his love for Jesus three times, wiping away the three denials. Jesus cleaned the slate with Peter, proving it by giving His disciple the awesome responsibility of feeding and tending to His sheep. How can Jesus just wipe away mistakes, like erasing a bad golf score? “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18) With all authority, Jesus makes and enforces the rules.
What makes Christ so amazing isn’t that He makes all the rules, it’s that He’s so good and charitable with the rules He makes. He allows mulligans; He allows new beginnings. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (1 Corinthians 5:17) If we make mistakes and mess our lives up, even if it’s our own fault, like Peter did, we can get a new start with Jesus because of what He does within us. Through Ezekiel, God mentions this, in great detail. “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26) In our darkest moments, at the end of our rope, we must turn all our hopes and dreams over to Christ for a new start. Without Jesus Christ, there are no mulligans. “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:5)