Journal Entry // March 5, 2022
But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”Mark 16:7 ESV
As I read and remember the moments of Jesus final hours, my mind is drawn to Peter. I can identify with Peter in these final hours of Jesus’ life. Beginning with his great statement of faith proclaiming Jesus to be the Christ. A statement that Jesus honors him for in front of all the disciples. A statement that could only come from the revelation of God in Peter’s heart. To the next moment opposing the crucifixion of Christ and being compared to Satan. To abandoning Jesus during his arrest, the very moment he needed his friend. To denying Jesus three times, claiming that he did not even know the man. This is me. This is my heart. I feel those same highs and lows in my journey.
At the lowest point, Peter had denied Christ and then watched Jesus be tried and convicted and executed. Peter in the guilt and shame of his own failure has to watch Jesus walk his path to death. I can’t even fathom the depth of guilt and shame that Peter surely fought in his mind. The dark whispers of the enemy reminding him constantly of his failure. The self-condemnation that he spoke constantly to his heart. Berating himself for all the many points of failure. Wanting only to have that fellowship restored with his Teacher and friend.
So it’s a joy as a reader and fellow Peter to see that the initial announcement of Jesus’ resurrection includes a direct call for Peter to come and meet Jesus. Not just a general call to ask the disciples, but a call that singles out Peter directly to come and meet with his Savior. Why this directness? In his morose depressed mental state, I’m sure Peter would have easily been deceived that he should not be included in the general call from Jesus. In his mind, I’m sure his failure has cost him this closeness and fellowship. So the call to meet expressly tells Peter to come.
This is the beautiful answer for me and for us all. There is healing and forgiveness in Jesus. He restores Peter and returns him to fellowship and friendship. More than that, Jesus continues to establish and use him in the ministry work of proclaiming the gospel. Peter is not cast aside as useless. No, it is precisely through this failure of Peter that draws his heart that much closer to Jesus. It is the failure and restoration that teaches his heart about the love of Christ for sinners. It’s his failure that humble him. It’s his story that is shared with everyone to encourage faithfulness and repentance and restoration. It’s a living picture of the heart of Jesus for his people. His heart for me.