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, NIV
Oh, the gentleness of Jesus! On that Easter morning, just risen from the dead, He sends an angel to speak to Mary Magdalene and the other women who have come to the tomb. And as the angel tell them the good news of the resurrection, he singles out Peter. Tell the disciples, he said, and make sure you tell Peter, also.
On the fateful Friday morning when Jesus stood in the judgment hall, Peter failed the test. He capitulated before the words of a servant girl; he shrank in the face of questions about his relationship to the Master. With oaths and coarse language Peter denied his Lord. He forfeited his right to a place among the apostles, let along his accustomed role as leader.
But Jesus turned and looked at Peter. He looked not in condemnation but in sorrow, not in anger but in love. That look melted Peter’s heart. He rushed from the high priest’s courtyard and into the night with bitter tears.
The Sabbath that followed must have been the bleakest of Peter’s life. Jesus was dead. His hopes for an earthly kingdom lay in ruins. His self-confidence was shattered. The other disciples mistrusted him.
We are Peter. We have abandoned Jesus in His hour of need. We have capitulated before the mocking crowd. We have denied the Lord we profess.
But Jesus looks at us in sorrow and love. That love melts our heart, and we want to run out into the night. We wonder what lies ahead, search for a glimmer of hope.
Then Jesus sends the word to us. He calls us by name, includes us in the good news He gives other humanity. “Tell Peter,” He says.
“Tell Tom, Dick and Harry; tell Mary, Martha and Jane. Tell them that I am alive forevermore and do not hold their sins against them. Tell them that I am the Lord of new hope and new starts. Tell them that they can have a second chance – that although they abandoned Me, I will never abandon them.”
Gently, lovingly Jesus calls us back to Himself. Gently, lovingly He leads us over th
e same ground so that we may learn to lean on His mighty arm and, leaning, overcome.
Jesus, call my name today!
by William G Johnsson – from “Jesus”