Holy Week – Part 3
“‘But go, tell his disciples and Peter…’” (Mark 16:7 NIV)
What better way to gain a new perspective and deepen our appreciation for what the Lord did in giving his life as a ransom for us, than by looking at the events surrounding his death and resurrection through the eyes of the people who were actually there?
Now, Peter had fled with the rest of the disciples when Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane; but he followed at a distance when they were taking Jesus to the house of the high priest, where Jesus would be beaten and falsely accused. That was a mistake. If you try to follow Jesus from a distance, you’re going to get in trouble very quickly. You have to walk closely with the Lord in order to stay true to him and to his word.
Peter’s problem actually started much earlier, during Jesus’ three and a half years of ministry. He thought he was strong and that he would never fail. In fact, he had told Jesus as much when Jesus told the disciples that they would all scatter at the end. Oh, but Peter had been fervent in his insistence that that wouldn’t be the case with him. Fast forward to that fateful night, when Peter was now warming himself by the fire in the courtyard of the high priest. Someone asked him if he had been with Jesus, and he denied it. Here was another unforced error: He was hanging out with people that he was not supposed to be with. So Peter denied Jesus again… and again! How many times are you going to say you don’t know him, Peter, and even call down curses on yourself in the process? That was a weak moment for Peter. He was put in the pressure cooker, and he just broke down. How bitterly he wept when he realized that Jesus’ words to him had been fulfilled: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will disown me three times.”
Thankfully for Peter—and for us—God’s love is deeper than our sin. The Lord can haul us out of the worse pit. He can lift us up out of the muck and mire. When we’re at our worst, he’s at his best.
So when Jesus rose again, the angel said to the women who had arrived at the empty tomb, “Go, tell the disciples and Peter [that Jesus is risen]!” Why Peter? Oh, Peter needed to be ministered to in a special way. After his epic failure, he had thought that the Lord would never want to see him again. But the Bible tells us that Jesus actually made a special appearance to Peter— not to rebuke him, but to reassure him of his love. You see, God’s love is unconditional.
So what would Peter tell us today if he could? He would tell us that even though we fail and are unfaithful, God remains faithful.
Let’s make the words of the great hymn our prayer today: “Great is thy faithfulness, great is thy faithfulness! Morning by morning, new mercies I see! All I have needed, thy hand hath provided. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”
Read Mark 14:53-72.