The following account found in Foxe's Book of Martyrs was one I read over and over again. The incredible appearance of Christ to Peter who would clearly suffer crucifixion and pain with Peter gave me an even better idea of His identity with us. Though He is God and is absolutely perfect, when we suffer for His name, He suffers with us.
"The only account that we have of the martyrdom of the Apostle Peter is from the early Christian writer Hegesippus. His account includes a miraculous appearance by Christ. When Peter was old (John 21:18), Nero planned to put him to death. When the disciples heard of this, they begged Peter to flee the city [said to be Rome], which he did. But when he got to the city gate, he saw Christ walking toward him. Peter fell to his knees and said, "Lord, where are you going?" Christ answered, "I've come to be crucified again." By this, Peter understood that it was his time to suffer the death of Jesus which would glorify God (John 21:19). So he went back to the city. After being captured and taken to his place of martyrdom, he requested that he be crucified in an upside down position because he did not consider himself worthy to be crucified in the same position as his Lord."
Peter's submission to the will of God and his request to suffer even further pain by hanging upside down makes clear the passionate love that Peter had for his Lord.
Much of this generation identifies with a lack luster faith. A comfortable faith. A lukewarm faith. A faith that would back down and recant. We don't encounter this kind of suffering and persecution. I have to ask myself uncomfortable questions and search my heart to see if I have the depth of love that Peter had. A love that would suffer unfathomable pain and an unshakable confidence in the perfect will of our Savior.
Does it make you do the same?