7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” — Mark 16:7 NKJV
Peter had boasted to Jesus that he would never deny Him. He was adamant that he would stand by Jesus no matter the situation or the cost.
35 But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same. — Matt. 26:35 NIV
We sometimes overlook the fact that they all ran away that night in the garden. Where the others went, we aren’t told, but John was with Jesus and Peter followed at a distance. We. like Peter, often think that we are stronger in our faith than we really are. If we tell Jesus we will do this or that, He will most often give us the opportunity to do exactly that. And, if we try to accomplish whatever “that” is in our own power, we, too, will fail. Peter denied Christ with his actions and his words. Most of the time, we deny Christ with our inaction and lack of words. Whether we deny Him passively or actively, it is still denial. When I fail to speak to someone about their eternal destiny when the Holy Spirit urges me to do so, I have denied Jesus. And when the Spirit brings conviction, my heart is broken and I repent with remorse and bitter tears. But the conviction is not punishment or isolation from God, it is discipline and an invitation to come back to God. When those times come that I fail to speak out and I feel like Peter must have felt that night, I read this verse and put my name there instead of Peter’s. I make it personal and read it ; “go tell His people –and Wally– that He is still going before us and we will see Him”. Then I know that I am forgiven and Jesus wants to hold me and comfort me. My tears of remorse become tears of joy! My sadness becomes praise to the One who will never exclude me. Such wonderful, glorious, amazing grace and love encourages me to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power”. I am still on the team, Jesus has chosen me and I want to shout “Me, too!” He has chosen “Me, too”!
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
I wonder what would have happened if the angel did not specifically mention Peter’s name. Would he have drown in a cesspool of guilt and shame? Jesus via the angel wanted to make sure Peter was included and restored. That should give us all hope!