A Rooster Once Crowed:
A Commentary on the Greatest Story Ever Told
by Bryant Cornett
From a one-room Sunday school class - the lesson that’s been downloaded over 8,000 times in 54 countries - comes A Rooster Once Crowed: A Commentary on the Greatest Story Ever Told.
We live in those few moments between the first and the second crow of the rooster: between decision and indecision, between knowing and being known. But do you even care?
Small decisions made today establish our path for all time, and yet we piddle with a piece of this and a taste of that. We diet on wisdom from antiquity and gorge on culture that is next month's joke.
This story is an opportunity to gorge on Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, in context. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and an opportunity to see for yourself what it actually is, rather than what we mold it to be, and to finally choose whether or not to care.
Through small stories and a modern context, this book will help you understand and decide what you believe about the greatest story ever told.
This book demands a decision.
In Jesus’ last hours, He said Peter would deny Him before the rooster crowed twice. Peter replied, “No way. Not even facing death will I deny You.” But a few hours later in the midst of a big commotion, pressure from the world, and three denials, the rooster crowed once.
“What was that?”
It seemed familiar. “Where did I just hear someone mention a rooster?”
See, Peter was getting by, doing what needed to be done, staying close in case opportunity presented itself. But that first crow of the rooster found Peter warming himself on the porch.
The second crow of the rooster sounded and Peter was shattered. Tears rolled down his face as he realized that his time with Jesus was over. What Jesus told them was happening and Peter’s own denials made him feel ineligible. Alone in the moment with the sun peeking over the horizon, Peter felt outside and unworthy even while he experienced that what Jesus said was true.
We are living in those few moments between the rooster’s first crow—familiarity, worldliness, getting by, chores, provision, warming ourselves on the porch—and the second crow—shame, realization, loss, despair, weeping.
Because a rooster once crowed is an opportunity to turn around, to change our course, to reclaim, and to run home. But the second crow, the second crow is the realization of truth.
You may feel like you’re on your hundredth crow or that you haven’t yet heard the sound, but this is it. This is the rooster first crowed. This is an opportunity to engage the material and to make a decision about what you believe and how you will live that belief out from this moment onward. Because there is a second crow coming. The rooster always crows twice.
This book began with a vision I received one night planning a lesson for my Sunday school class at Family Ties at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church. For the first time without a written note, I gave this lesson to a packed class of about 40 folks, and it was, by far, the best lesson I’d ever given.
I knew immediately that I had to share this as far as I could. It was a gift that required stewardship.
As of this writing, people in 54 countries have downloaded a version of the 38-minute talk nearly 8,000 times—if you’d like to hear it go to www.fullporchpress.com. That some have found it valuable enough to forward it to their friends, and those friends have sent it to their friends, is a great encouragement. The response to this Gospel story is a testament to the power of the Gospel. We’re all hungry for its truth, authenticity, love, and depth.
I’ve borrowed heavily from great thinkers throughout this book. Without the Bible, Lon Solomon’s background in biology and faith, Tim Keller’s sermon series “King’s Cross” on the Gospel of Mark, Ken Boa’s depth, Len Sykes’ patience, C. S. Lewis’ musings on everything else, Rabbi Rich Nichol’s view of history, or Cheryl Lewis’ kind eye, I would never have been able to put into words what I saw.
Indeed, I put each of these on level with Moses, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul because, like these heroes of the Bible, God spoke through them in miraculous ways exactly when I needed to hear them. I can’t tell you how many times I felt lost and afraid that I had nothing to say, and God’s Word came to me like manna through them with exactly what I needed. Thank you.
Peter was wrong, you know.
Standing on Caiaphas’ porch, Peter thought that he was finished. But he chose the right path and his story didn’t end there. Peter went through forgiveness and on to become the rock on which the church was built.
It doesn’t end here for you, either. No matter if you believe or are hostile toward Jesus, the central tenant of our faith is that we all fall short of the standard. Not one of us is up to snuff.
But from here, from wherever you are, in this time, you have a chance to make a decision. After enough time, indecision is a decision. The rooster has crowed, so let those with ears to hear, hear and eyes to see, see.
This is a commentary on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the greatest story ever told.
Praise for A Rooster Once Crowed
“Wow! What an amazing job A Rooster Once Crowed has done making deep theological truths available and understandable to a lay audience. And Bryant did it with humor, humility, color and candor. Excellent. A Rooster Once Crowed takes the reader on a fascinating journey through time. It weaves a tapestry of history, theology and story to portray timeless truth in colorful, readable and deeply insightful narrative.” ~ Bob Lupton, author of Toxic Charity
“A Rooster Once Crowed helped me understand the Gospel more clearly and love our Savior more dearly. Bryant has shown a new facet to the diamond which is the Gospel and readers will see the beauty of Jesus and His loving sacrifice in a way that will change the lives of new believers and committed Christians.” ~ Len Sykes, Reflections Ministries, Atlanta Georgia
“A Rooster Once Crowed is a study which is broad in scope, accessible to seekers and – from my perspective as a Messianic Jewish rabbi – sensitive to the nuances of Yeshua (Jesus). Take your time with this material. You won’t be disappointed.” ~ Rabbi Richard Nichol, Needham, Massachusetts
“My friend Bryant Cornett has crafted a compelling way to tell the old old story by integrating a wide variety of scriptures with illustrations and narratives that press for a decision. This story speaks to the mind, the heart and the will reminding us that revelation requires a response.” ~ Dr. Ken Boa, author, Atlanta, Georgia
“This book is for building disciples. If you want to be one or are building them, read this book.” ~ Jerry Leachman, former chaplain for the Washington Redskins, Washington, DC.
From the Author
I didn't set out to write a book. I wasn't against it, but I got to this point much as most folks get on a ride at Disney World: they weigh the time it will take to get through the line they can see, and by the time they figure out how long the line really is, they've invested too much to step out.
That doesn't sound especially spiritual, but for me, this whole process was. And what a great ride it has been. You can find more about it at www.fullporchpress.com.
In 2012 I was preparing for humiliation. I'd committed to teaching a big Sunday school class (Family Ties) at a big church (Peachtree Road United Methodist Church) without any notes. I had no idea what I was going to say until the Thursday before, when I saw, as clearly as you could see and describe a painting, a picture of the Gospel.
Since that Sunday in October, I have stood in as many lines as possible to share this story of the Gospel. And while I don't claim to have all the answers, my prayer is that something in this little sacrifice of paper and ink will resonate with you. I sincerely hope that you will see God's truth and the Gospel through this book and invite you to follow our progress at www.fullporchpress.com for more on this important mission. Because in this church of lions, I'm bringing a turtledove - not even two.
Other than this, I'm a lover of Jesus, a husband to one of the greatest God ever made, dad to three of the next greatest, a commercial real-estate broker for hospitals and physicians, a sometime fisherman, and an even lesser golfer.