"And Peter"

“But go, tell His disciples—and Peter”

Mark 16:7

If Peter was teaching the Easter story from Mark’s gospel I assure you he would focus our attention on what he might say are the two most powerful words in the entire conversation when the angel said, “and Peter”. Those two words reveal so much about Jesus and His love and forgiveness and not just for Peter but for me and you too. Peter would make sure we understood the backstory that on the night Jesus was betrayed by Judas, our Lord was also betrayed by Peter too.

The disciples had just been arguing amongst themselves about who was the greatest and Jesus was explaining the events that were about to unfold with His arrest and crucifixion and Peter wanted to make sure Jesus understood that even if everyone else abandoned Jesus, Peter would not. Jesus told Peter in no uncertain terms that before a rooster crowed Peter would deny Jesus three times. If it wasn’t bad enough that Peter did in fact deny Jesus three times, the most shameful part was that when the rooster crowed Jesus who at that very moment was being led to be beaten, turned from across the courtyard and his eyes met Peters. Try as you and I may we can’t comprehend the depth of sorrow that overcame Peter in that moment when he realized what he had done. Scripture simply tells us, “Peter went out a wept bitterly.”

Fast forward to the Cross and Jesus first words after He was crucified were, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” We can speculate as to who Jesus was referring and we probably wouldn’t be wrong. We wouldn’t be wrong if we said the Jewish leaders who called for His death or the Roman government for carrying out the deed. We wouldn’t be wrong if we listed every human being who is ever to be born into this world as Jesus died to save us all. I am sure Peter thought of himself when he read those words of Jesus and I pray you and I do too as it was my sin and your sin that Jesus died for.

And yet my own heart is comforted today as I pray yours is knowing how important it was for the angel of the Lord to make sure that the message of Jesus resurrection reached Peter. Remember in Jesus first sermon He read from the book of Isaiah where it says, “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” Jesus knew Peter’s heart was broken and His death and resurrection would serve to heal it and Jesus wanted Peter to know that He was alive because at that moment Peter believed Jesus was dead and that he had betrayed his friend when his friend needed him the most, and now there was nothing Peter could do to fix it. And Peter was right. One of the worst pains we have to live with in this life is the pain of regret.

Peter couldn’t undo his past but Jesus could! Thats great news for you and me who have in our own right failed miserably in this life. Oh how we wish we could go back and undo the guilt and the shame, the hurt and the heartache, but we can’t. But don’t forget Jesus can and will. Jesus both forgives and forgets, He not only redeems but He restores. That’s what the angel had in mind when he told the women to go tell the disciples and Peter that Jesus was risen. What the Lord wanted for Peter, Jesus promises He will do for me and you…

“Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

Revelation 21:6


Michael Osthimer





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