14 February 2015
Reading: Mark 16; Psalm 38
The women were startled, 6 but the angel said, “Do not be so surprised. You are looking for Jesus, the Nazarene, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He has been raised from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. 7 Now go and give this message to his disciples, including Peter: Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died!” (Mark 16:6-7 NLT)
The angel that appeared to the three women that Resurrection Morning gave them great news – news that the Good News of Jesus Christ was still Good News – Jesus is no longer dead, but alive! Then the angel told them to go right away and tell Jesus’ disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is alive!
The women likely needed to hear the words, “including Peter” from the angel because after Peter’s behavior at Jesus’ arrest and trial, they weren’t feeling very proud of Peter. Peter needed those words because during Jesus’ trial and torture he had denied three times that he even knew Jesus, much less followed him as a disciple.
Peter had ended that day feeling like a complete failure, feeling so ashamed of his weakness, and feeling that he had forever destroyed the possibility of forgiveness and restoration. Ever felt that way? I have!
Life Lesson: God doesn’t leave us in the dark about his unfailing, unconditional, love for us, and his merciful forgiveness for our weaknesses and sins. He is always willing to pick up where we left off – to pick us up where we stumbled and fell, where we left the path, where we let him down – and go forward with his good plans for us.
I’m glad that the angel’s message of Good News was to tell the disciples, Including Peter. I’m glad that God still sends a message of Good News to Jesus’ weak and sin-prone disciples, Including Jim.
Father, I am so thankful that my weaknesses and sins and failures don’t take my name off the list of people you have Good News for. Thanks for reminding me. And thanks for reminding me not to write people off when they fail, fall, or flame-out. Let me be sensitive to the opportunities I have to give a message of hope and forgiveness to your disciples, Including Peter! Amen.