“And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. 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 16:6-7
Do you need some encouragement today? On the first Easter morning, Peter needed some. There in the Upper Room, he had insisted that he would never deny Christ. But just as Jesus had predicted, Peter not only denied the Lord, but he denied Him three times. The last glimpse Peter had of Jesus before His crucifixion was in the glow of the fire in the high priest’s courtyard, where he actually made eye contact with Jesus. And then he went out and wept bitterly.
What kind of look do you think Jesus gave Peter when their eyes met? Do you think it was one of those I-told-you-so looks? Do you think it was one of scorn, as if to say, “How could you betray Me?” I don’t think it was either one. I think it was a look of love, a look of compassion that said, “I still love you, Peter.” And I believe that is why Peter went out and wept bitterly. He had failed the Lord so miserably. He probably thought there was no hope for him.
But then a message went out from the empty tomb that Jesus had risen, followed by these instructions, “Go, tell His disciples—and Peter. . . .” It was not, “Go tell the disciples, including Peter, James, and John. . . .” It was just Peter, because Peter needed a special word of encouragement.
Do you need encouragement today? Maybe you have fallen short. You didn’t plan on it, but it happened. And like Peter, maybe you ended up with the wrong people in the wrong place at the wrong time, ultimately doing the wrong thing. God gave Peter a second chance. And He will give you one, too—because Easter is for the person who needs a second chance.