If you’ve never failed God, this reflection is not for you. But if you’ve ever promised God something, but not done it; if you’ve ever resolved to overcome some persistent sin, only to mess up repeatedly; if you’re plagued with guilt over sins that have defeated you; then, this reflection is for you.
Although Marks reflection of the resurrection is short by comparison, it’s not without a powerful and profound moment. If you’re not careful in your reading, you could run right past the two most hope filled words in the whole chapter, especially for those who have failed God.
Mark 16:5-7 (NLT) 5 When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, 6 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. 7 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.”
A question to ask is, why did the angel add, “including Peter?” You better believe that the risen Lord made sure to specifically include these words, knowing they would eventually get back to Peter. Peter, who just a few short days earlier had fallen completely on his face and denied Jesus to his face, was now included in the list of disciples. Now that’s grace!
Can you imagine the scene when the women got back to the disciples? The disciples are sitting in a small room; looking at each other wondering, what now? Suddenly the women barge into the room, out of breath, talking about the angel they met who was sitting inside the open tomb. I’m sure Peter was thinking this can’t be, but then he heard them say, “including Peter!”
What did you say? The angel said, “including Peter,” really? Are you sure that’s what the angel said? Tell me, what were his exact words?
As we’ve already discussed in a previous reflection, scholars agree that Mark’s Gospel was written primarily under Peter’s influence. Picture Mark, quill in hand, writing, “Go, tell His disciples.” There’s Peter looking over his shoulder, saying, “‘including Peter!’ Mark, don’t forget to write, ‘including Peter!’” Remember, this is the same Mark who had failed Paul on the first missionary journey. You can be sure that the words are accurate. Those two short words say to us:
The Resurrected King offers hope to all who have failed God
How have you failed God? What have you done to disappoint Jesus? Now think about this, was it as bad as what Peter did right in front of Jesus the night he betrayed him? You may think so, but Peter would probably disagree.
Now think about not only what Jesus did on the cross, but that today he makes it a point to say…”now go and tell his disciples…” including (insert your name here).