Astonishment courses through me as this dawn brings a new wave of hope. I am still Simon, called Peter, but I will never be the same.
You see, I watched Jesus die just two short days ago. From a safe distance I saw His agony and excruciating suffering. I’ve never felt so guilty. So broken. So lost. How could I have abandoned Him in His darkest moment? My pathetic weakness disgusted me, and I loathed the image I saw in the mirror on Saturday morning. What kind of person turns his back on a friend in need?
But yesterday, I found His empty tomb. The women in our group said an angel told them He was alive. Then, crazy as it seems, just as two brothers were telling us how they met Him on the road to Emmaus, Jesus appeared out of nowhere to all of us. “Peace be with you,” He said.
Peace? Seriously? I thought it was His ghost, but it was Him, and He truly is alive! Frankly, the shock of the resurrection still reverberates through my soul. This post-crucifixion encounter with the Teacher has changed everything.
Instead of anguish, there is joy.
Instead of fear, there is faith.
Instead of dread, there is hope.
In a matter of twenty-four hours, my ravaged dreams are reborn. The anvil of despair no longer crushes my heart. In fact, it never ceases to amaze me how Jesus continues to alter and renovate my life. Just about the time I’m ready to quit, He encourages me. When I’m ready to throw in the towel, He surprises me. When I want to give up, I realize (again) that He never gives up on me.
Right now, through humble tears of joy, I pray: “Jesus, forgive me for my faithlessness. Forgive me for not listening and understanding. Forgive me for my betrayal. Oh God, help me to become the man You have destined me to become.”
As the wind wrestles through the leaves of the sycamore tree above me, I hear the Spirit’s gentle whisper, “You have come far. You will go far, for you have now died with Christ and you will forever live by the same power that raised Him from the dead. This is just the beginning.”
Amazing. Unbelievable. What love is this?
Because of Him,