“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.”
This may be my favorite line in all the Scriptures concerning the resurrection. Perhaps that sounds like a strange line for me to say such a strong statement about, but I can’t help it. I am greatly affected by this verse.
Mark is the only gospel to word this statement in this way. His record is the only gospel to mention Peter specifically. Why? I believe it’s because it’s the gospel written from Peter’s account of the story and this one little phrase, “and Peter” impacted him so profoundly that he couldn’t leave it out of the story.
Just a few days before this, Peter had shouted out that he would never deny Jesus. He’d even die for Jesus! The words of Jesus must have been a dagger to his pride as Jesus said, “You will deny me three times.” Peter must have wondered how Jesus could so easily doubt his loyalty. Then the night came. Jesus was arrested and was being tried while Peter warmed by the fire. A servant girl, of all people, recognized him, and the next few moments transpired to be the most regretful of his life. He denied even knowing Jesus.
Then he realized what he’d done and he broke down and wept.
What shame, guilt, fear, and regret must have torn through his soul. He proved to be so bold in word and so timid in deed.
Jesus went to the cross, was killed and buried. A few days passed. I wonder if anyone else knew of Peter’s denial. Did he keep it a secret and suffer in shame and remorse all alone? What a weight that guilt must have been upon his chest, nearly suffocating him at times.
Then the women came. Short of breath and white as a ghost, they came. “Jesus is not there! He’s gone, and an angel told us to tell you all that Jesus will meet you in Galilee as he said he would. Oh, and Peter, he said to make sure and tell you too.”
Oh the sound of that! The sound of the savior’s personal call to you is the sweetest sound to ever befall ones ear. He had not forgotten Peter. Amidst Peter’s denial of Jesus, Jesus did not deny Peter.
May we find hope in this truth today. Jesus does not deny those he has called, no matter how grievous their denial of him has been in the darkest moments of life.