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Monday, April 13, 2009

And Peter Too

“But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He said to you.’” Mark 16:7 (New American Standard Bible)

The past three days had been the worst the disciples of Jesus had endured. Their Master had undergone a kangaroo court trial and had been crucified as a common criminal. The only disciple who stood before the cross and watched Him die a cruel death was John. During the trial Peter had even denied with curses that he even knew Jesus. And now the Master was dead, or was He? As heavenly angels announce the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave there is already reconciliation between Master and servant Peter who miserably failed Him in His greatest hour of need.

Jesus had His angels make a special point in singling out Peter for loving reconciliation. As a human I can identify with how badly Peter must have felt. How many times have I blundered in my Christian walk and was left with the feeling I was totally unworthy of Jesus’ love and affection. I can only imagine how badly Peter felt and how he must have berated himself for his fear and lack of faith. But Jesus saw more in this man who had so fully let Him down. The angel at the tomb instructs those witnesses to tell the disciples and Peter that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead.

The account tells me that God isn’t a God of never-ending anger as many think. My mistakes aren’t anything new to Him. He’s always known me personally being very aware of my weaknesses and tendency to fail Him. Even with all my warts Jesus is a personal Savior who is deeply interested in me second to second. This deep love put Him on the cross for me and for every person since. Who or what shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? Will it be distress or Persecution? Will it be famine? Nakedness? Peril? As in Peter’s example Jesus says there is nothing that will ever lessen, diminish or destroy His love for myself or you. The Apostle Paul is convinced that not death, life, angels, principalities, things that exist now or will exist in the future, nor powers, or height or depth or any other created thing will separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:37-39). Tell the disciples and Peter too. Put your name in place of Peter’s and you’ll have some idea just how much He loves you and will love you for eternity no matter all the mistakes or failures you’ve ever done. Jesus is risen indeed. Blessed be His holy name.