“On Your Mark”
It’s Not All Over (Chapter 16 Verses 1-8)
The message of the angel to the women (v6) and then to the disciples (v7), and especially to Peter (V7) is one of tremendous hope is it not? This is no empty command “do not be alarmed”, it is expressed in the words of the hymn:
“Jesus, he lives, my sins are gone,
Hallelujah, he arose;
Jesus, he lives, he is the Son,
Jesus, he lives, he is the Lord,
He is, the Holy One;
Death is defeated, praise our God,
The victory’s been won.”. (James R. Hamilton)
The Christian person does not live in fear, and that because of the power of Jesus’ resurrection. It was confirmation of his divinity (Romans 1.4), and the grounds of all our future hopes, he the first fruit (1Corinthians 15.20), we follow him (1Corinthians 15.22-23). It was a clear demonstration of the power of the God in whom we live, and trust (Ephesians 1.18-20; Acts 2.24; Colossians 2.12), executed by the power of his Holy Spirit (Romans 1.4; 1Timothy 3.16; 1Peter 3.18). It is the grounds for our justification (Romans 4.25; 8.34), it is the signal from heaven that our sins really are blotted out, forgiven completely. It is the basis of all Christian hope (Acts 24.15; 1Corinthians 15.19). It is the grounds for our own resurrection (1Corinthians 15.20-23). So you can see why all fear is gone (2Timothy 1.7). You can sing the above words, with great joy and gusto in your Christian heart.
But what a message for Peter who had failed so badly, who was broken and repentant. If Jesus had remained dead, all these men and women would have been finished as far as the gospel is concerned, there would have been nothing to proclaim. But Jesus is alive, and because of that they have a job to do, and so does Peter. No it is not the end, it is not over because you have failed in the past, because you got it wrong. He neither loses his discipleship, nor his office. The Christian church is harder than its Master. We condemn and cut people off for their failures, but are not we, everyone of us failures. Does not the same sins of Peter and many more lie in your heart and mine? If people knew about the uncleanness and lusts that fill our hearts where would we be? Do not you think it is about time we stopped condemning? And learned to forgive one another? Do not you think it is time we learned to love as Jesus loves (John 13.34-35)?
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)