But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ (Mark 16:7)
There are moments in time when we’re all tempted to believe that God could never love us because of something that we’ve done in the past or present. Such thinking is not from God, however. In fact, one of my favorite parts of the resurrection story is when the angel gives instructions to the women at Jesus’ tomb to tell the disciples that Jesus has gone into town ahead of them. Only that’s not exactly what the angel said. The exact words were, “tell his disciples and Peter” (Mark 16:7a, emphasis added).
If you know the story of Peter, then you know that he had promised never to betray Jesus or to leave His side. This was the same Peter who cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant. This Peter denied knowing Jesus three times and went away weeping bitterly. And there the angel was, extending grace – Go tell Peter it’s okay. Jesus came back to life.
If you have walked away from Jesus and wondered if you can return, the answer is a resounding “YES!”
It’s true that Peter failed in fulfilling his expectations for himself and that he had denied Jesus in a crucial moment, but Jesus’ arms of forgiveness were wide enough to embrace Peter just as they are wide enough to embrace you. His sins had not separated him from God forever as long as he was willing to return. What an incredible message of hope for us!
Father, thank You for the words of grace that came from the angel’s mouth when he remarked to the ladies to announce to Peter that Jesus was ready to see him again. Thank You that I am forgiven regardless of my past, and that You have not cast me off. Help me to celebrate Your grace, and let it be a motivation for me to live in a way that’s pleasing to You.