Tuesday, March 24, 2015

And he ran...

So, when I was 10 years old, I was a brat.  I was a self-absorbed, moody, back-talking, stubborn brat.  I don't deny it.  I wasn't nice to a lot of people, and I was especially not very nice to my mom.  I said a lot of things to her at that time that were just downright mean, but she was gracious to me and many times overlooked my sinfulness.  But there was one time, on Mother's Day, when I said something to her that hurt her deeply.  Over the next few days my guilt really started to weigh on me, but I struggled to find the words to express to her how sorry I was for the way I acted.  She did forgive me, but I never really got over it.  The next year, one week before Mother's Day, she died from cancer.  

This morning I read Luke 24:1-12, and was hit hard with the last verse. 

"But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, 
he saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home,
marveling at what had happened."

When I read it, I cried.  Maybe it was partially because I am in the throws of a hormonal pregnancy, but I think it was mostly because of what I read yesterday.  Mark 14:66-72 recounts the story of how Peter denied Jesus three times the night Jesus was arrested.  

I realized then how much I am like Peter.  Loud, brash, shooting off at the hip, making promises I can't keep, and whatever else you want to throw in there, but when I read verse 12 this morning, I think I felt what Peter may have felt when he realized there was a possibility that Jesus was alive.  He would get a second chance to do things right; to make sure that his friend and savior knew how sorry he was for denying him on the very night Jesus was voluntarily being beaten and tortured for the world.  I can't imagine the pain and grief that Peter experienced three days before, when he realized what he had done; the hopelessness he felt at the thought that he would never get to say he was sorry for denying Jesus.  

"BUT Peter got up and ran to the tomb..." because he had just been told by the women, who were visiting the tomb moments earlier, that Jesus was not there.  Can you imagine the thoughts that went through his head?  I'm sure at some point during that early morning sprint that he replayed the scene of himself denying Jesus and thought maybe he would get the chance to tell him how sorry he was.  

I know that is what I would be thinking.  

The good news is Jesus was not there.  He had risen from the grave, and Peter did get a second chance.  The scriptures don't explicitly tell us that Peter officially apologized for what he had done, but I'm sure Jesus knew the guilt that was weighing on his disciple's heart.  

I cannot express to you how this good news makes me feel.  Everyday I'm alive, God gives me a chance to start over and recover from how badly I wrecked the day before.  He reminds me that his mercies are new every morning and that He has forgiven my sin once and for all and he gently draws me close to him as the guilt of my sin sometimes consumes me. 

I will never get it right while I'm here on earth, but he has given me hope and joy through his work on the cross, and one day I will see him face-to-face and will marvel as his lovingkindness.