The Life of Peter – Chapter 4

Jesus was dead. His disciples were in hiding; very confused, very scared, and very grieved. The women, though frightened like the others, were compelled to prepare the body further.  It was the right thing to do. How did all this happen? Once again another innocent person fell victim to the tyranny of the Romans. Who was next? Peter was pacing. It was all coming back to him now, the time when Jesus was telling them how He had to die, and when Peter confronted Jesus, and Jesus responded, “Get behind me Satan.  Peter also remembered when they sat at the table and Jesus said, “One of you will betray me,” and how Peter said he would never deny Him, but before the night had ended Peter had denied Him three times, just like Jesus said he would. And maybe worse of all, Peter remembered looking at Jesus from afar, while Jesus was being beat, after hearing the rooster crow, Jesus looked right at him. Peter thought, “I am the betrayer, I am the one Jesus spoke of.” Oh God, how could I have done this? How could I have ran?” Peter wanted to believe in God, but was sick with worry. Sick about his failure, sick about his denial, sick about what lie ahead for him. How could he ever be forgiven. He has betrayed the Messiah. In fact, Peter also remembered Jesus saying, “Woe to that man by whom the son of man is betrayed. It would have been better for that man had he not been born.” Peter was in a state of despair. And Peter wasn’t alone. All the disciples felt the fear. Now what?

Suddenly there was a knock on the door. Peter carefully answered the door, but as he cracked the door the woman burst into the room filled with trembling with tears of overwhelming joy and excitement, “He has risen, He has risen, Jesus has risen!” Peter grabbed Mary and looked into her eyes and said, “What are you saying, have you gone mad?”

Mary looked intently at Peter, placing her hands on the sides of his face and said, “Peter, we saw the tomb, empty, and an angel told us that Jesus has risen and that we are to tell the disciples and Peter, that He is alive.” Peter, the angel told us to specifically tell you that Jesus is alive.” Peter and John burst out the door running to the grave location. How could this be? Peter and John ran and ran, wanting to believe, but cautious within themselves. When they arrived they saw the stone moved from its place. John arrived first and stopped outside the tomb looking in with utter amazement.  Peter ran past John right into the tomb, and there together, they saw the grave clothes laying as if Jesus body passed right through the clothes, and the head cloth folded neatly in order. They were perplexed. It was obvious, something miraculous had happened. Peter and John marveled at what they saw.

Later, while they were waiting, as they were told, Peter thought, can I ever be different? How could I have failed so profoundly? Peter believed in God but didn’t think he could change. And then two things happened. While Peter and the others were waiting in the room, suddenly Jesus stood in their midst. They were all terrified and frightened but Jesus said, “Why are you troubled? And why do you doubt? Behold my hands, and feet, it is I, myself.” The room was filled with an indescribable exuberance, overcome with tears of joy, and hope and belief. Jesus had overcome the grave. This is impossible. How can this happen? He is Messiah. He is real. He is true!  Peter suddenly remembered the words of John the Baptist, “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” It was then that Peter realized, He was crucified for me. Crucified for me! This was the first of two profound events that answered Peters question, can I ever change?

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