May 21, 2014

A Bridge of Grace

“Now go and tell His disciples including Peter that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see Him there, just as He told you before He died.”

Mark 16:7 (NLT)

There is something about phrases in the Bible that often leap off the page to me when I’m reading it. This is one of them, “… including Peter ….” It was early Sunday morning when the women went to the tomb to anoint the crucified body of Jesus. When they arrived, to their amazement, the stone had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting down. Mark tells us, “The women were shocked, but the angel said, ‘Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid His body. Now go and tell His disciples, including Peter ….” Why would the angel single out Peter among all the disciples? He was building a bridge of grace! When Peter’s denial of Christ left him with deep regret and sorrow, feeling excluded from Christ and the others, grace reached out to include him! Peter may have disowned Jesus, but Jesus wanted him to know by this special messenger and the witness of the women that He had not disowned Peter! In fact, Jesus would have a special new assignment for Peter to fulfill in establishing the church that had yet to be formed. If you’ve ever felt excluded by sin and failure in your life, be encouraged! Step on the bridge of grace and know that Jesus includes you, too! His grace is active and takes the initiative in reaching out to you! Peter didn’t see the angel or hear his message directly. It was through the witness of the women who relayed the message. Imagine the hope that brought to this defeated disciple. We have that same message to offer others. Let’s build a bridge of grace for them to walk across!