A few years ago I came across two words in the New testament that gave me a fresh perspective on how I viewe the death and resurrection of Jesus, especially in regard to His relationship with the disciples.
The two words are found in Mark 16, when the women went to Jesus’ tomb and the angels spoke to them:
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 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.'”
Why did the angel say ‘and Peter’? Wasn’t Peter one of the twelve? Why mention him specifically? As God’s messengers, angles only say what they are instructed to say. This led me to only one logical conclusion. It must have meant that during the most amazing miracle the world has ever seen (the resurrection of Jesus), God was in heaven talking with the angels about a lowly fisherman called Peter! He know how much Peter must have been hurting after denying his best friend, and he knew that Peter was going to get a chance to put things right. I find this pretty mind blowing! And this can only give us hope – because if there’s an ‘and Peter’, then there must also be an ‘and Darren’ and an ‘and Niki’ and an ‘and Daniel’ and your name too! God is interested in the intimate details of our lives and even when we are far from Him, we are never beyond His reach.
This coming half-term, we will be telling the children the story of Peter’s denial and restoration. Even young children sometimes fell they have committed the “unforgivable sin”. Please pray with us that those who may be particularly hurting will realise that because of God’s grace, there is always a way back!