God of second chance
When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.” Mark 16:5-7
It was the first day of the week when the women came to anoint Jesus’ body after His death on the cross. They had mixed emotions that day, though He promised that He will rise from the dead the third day after His burial, but they were not really sure if He will keep His promise. “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but three days later he will rise from the dead” (Mark 9:31). The angel calmed their fears and showed to them the empty tomb. They need not fear for Jesus rose from the dead. Then the angle told the women to tell the disciples especially Peter. The disciples needed to hear the Good News for this will provide them assurance and encouragement in those dark days. This was especially true for Peter; after all he was the one who denied Jesus. He needed to hear God’s forgiveness and He certainly did so for Peter. Peter had previously declared that he will not abandon the Lord Jesus Christ and that he was His most reliable disciple. “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.” (Matthew 26:33). Yet after he made that bold declaration, he not only fled with the other disciples in the moment of crisis, but also deliberately denied he knew Jesus (see Matthew 26:69-75). He realized he failed the Lord Jesus Christ so despondently that he went out into the night and wept (Luke 22:62). He needed to be restored and what a way the Lord Jesus Christ showed His compassion to Peter. Later on before the ascension to heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ took Peter aside to allow him the opportunity to reaffirm his love and commitment (see John 21:15-17). After experiencing the resurrection, Peter became convinced that Jesus is the Christ that in the Pentecost, he boldly preached to the people and challenged them to repent and turn to God. That day, three thousand people were added to the church (Acts 2:41). God does not want us to remain where we are where we will not experience the strength to live the life He gave us. His desire is to bring us to where He wants us to be. Peter’s experience had shown us that when we fail, God does not want us to give up but realize that His gracious hand of forgiveness is ready to restore us back to Him. Even in times of darkness and despair, God is always there to provide us the peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). God is not finished yet in developing you as His disciple.
Noel De Guzman