Tell Peter

The Covington News - - Religion -

On the morn­ing of Christ’s res­ur­rec­tion, an an­gel told Mary Mag­da­lene and the other women that Christ had risen from the dead. The an­gel said: “ go quickly and tell his dis­ci­ples.” In the gospel of Mark, we have record where the an­gel said: “ go, tell his dis­ci­ples and Peter…” ( Mark 16: 7).

Why did the an­gel men­tion Peter by name in this res­ur­rec­tion an­nounce­ment? Per­haps it was be­cause he had de­nied the Lord three times and des­per­ately needed to know Christ was alive and still loved him.

Peter was a fish­er­man by trade and was called by Je­sus to be one of his dis­ci­ples. In fact, Peter be­comes the most prom­i­nent of the 12 dis­ci­ples. Peter be­gan to fol­low Je­sus, but he had his share of prob­lems.

He was in­con­sis­tent and im­pul­sive; some­times the first to act or speak. At times he was boast­ful. He was a man of ex­tremes. He was un­pre­dictable. He made rash state­ments and prom­ises and then had trou­ble back­ing them up with ac­tions.

He of­ten talked big, but walked small. At times he was bold and coura­geous; at other times, he was weak and cow­ardly. He had his mo­ments of great in­sight, and yet, at other times, he seemed slow to un­der­stand Christ’s teach­ings.

He was one of three dis­ci­ples to ac­com­pany Christ to the Mount of Trans­fig­u­ra­tion.

Yet, it was this same man who de­nied the Lord af­ter promis­ing him that he would never desert him. He even said he was will­ing to go to prison and die for Christ.

So the an­gel said: “ tell his dis­ci­ples and Peter that he has risen from the dead.”

Why did Peter need to be told that Je­sus was alive?

Peter needed to know he was not for­saken.

Even though he had mis­er­ably failed Christ by deny­ing him, Je­sus wanted him to know he was still greatly loved and had not been writ­ten off.

We too, have de­nied and failed Je­sus. Fail­ure is a se­ri­ous thing, but Christ’s death and res­ur­rec­tion was for peo­ple who are bro­ken by sin, fail­ure, dis­obe­di­ence and ne­glect.

Fail­ure does not have to be fi­nal. We can learn from our mis­takes. We can be re­stored from fail­ure to faith through the Liv­ing Christ.

Peter needed to know he had been for­given.

That is what the mes­sage of the cross and the empty tomb are all about — for­give­ness, rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, a new start, a new day for those who have failed.

There is hope in Christ, re­gard­less of who we are, what we have done and where we have been.

While it breaks the heart of God that we fail, it breaks his heart even more when we go on in our fail­ure with­out find­ing for­give­ness and mov­ing pos­i­tively for­ward.

Peter needed to know he still had a fu­ture with Je­sus.

Je­sus had great plans for Peter. He had a tremen­dous fu­ture for both him as well as us to­day, re­gard­less of our faults, flaws and fail­ures. Once we are for­given, Christ’s fo­cus is on our fu­ture, not on the fail­ure of our past.

Peter was one of the first to run to the empty tomb af­ter be­ing told Je­sus was alive. He ac­tu­ally saw the res­ur­rected Christ and was with the other dis­ci­ples when Christ as­cended back into heaven.

He was among the dis­ci­ples who prayed in the up­per room in Jerusalem, and was one who ex­pe­ri­enced the dra­matic fill­ing of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pen­te­cost.

He be­came one of the great lead­ers of the early church and be­came the apos­tle to the Gen­tiles.

He preached a great mes­sage on the Day of Pen­te­cost and 3,000 peo­ple were con­verted to Chris­tian­ity.

He was im­pris­oned for his faith on sev­eral oc­ca­sions, and was de­liv­ered on one oc­ca­sion from prison by an an­gel of the Lord.

Peter be­came a man whose very shadow healed peo­ple. He per­formed mir­a­cles and con­tin­ued, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to carry out Christ’s com­mis­sion to go into all the world and make dis­ci­ples.

He wrote two New Tes­ta­ment books — first and sec­ond Peter.

Tra­di­tion has it that Peter was cru­ci­fied up­side- down, say­ing he was not wor­thy to be cru­ci­fied the same way in which Christ died.

When the an­gel said: “... tell Peter..,” it re­ally meant some­thing.

Peter needed to know he had not been for­saken; he had been for­given and he had a fu­ture with Je­sus.

Per­haps you need to be re­minded of the same.

God loves you as much as he loved Peter, and he has a great plan for your life, re­gard­less of your past or your fail­ures.

You too, can come from fail­ure to faith if you will place your trust in the death and res­ur­rec­tion of the Liv­ing Christ.

Do it to­day and move into his new fu­ture for you. Rev. Wayne Ruther­ford LifePointe Church

of the Nazarene

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