“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” Mark 16: 6-7
It might be safe to say that we have all felt like a monumental screw up at times. We’ve all done things we are ashamed of and hurt people we love. We’ve mistakenly spoken too soon or doubted the Word of God.
This is where we find Peter. We don’t know for sure, but I’m thinking Peter was feeling pretty lousy about himself and his situation. You see, if you flip just 2 chapters back from our main verse for the day, you will see the heading “Peter denies knowing Jesus.” Oh and a little further back and you’ll see that he got so angry that he cut off a Roman soldier’s ear when they were taking Jesus to be crucified.
You’ve probably (hopefully) never cut off anyone’s ear or denied Jesus before the rooster crowed 3 times. But, if you’re like me, I bet you’ve bought into the lie that you’re too far-gone. That maybe there is a situation or sin in your life that you feel is past the point of no return. That you’ve been running too far and long in the opposite direction of God’s best for you.
I think in all of us there is this place hidden in the back of our hearts and minds that wonders: Am I worth pursuing?
Maybe you feel like the screw-ups outweigh the good days. Maybe you’ve doubted. Maybe you’ve been angry. Maybe you’ve questioned. But let me tell you...
You are worth pursuing.
Peter’s story shows not only the extravagant grace of Jesus, but the lengths to which He would go to show his love. He knew Peter needed an extra special word. He knew he felt isolated and abandoned on top of just downright regretting his choices.
But Jesus specifically singled out Peter and had the angel say “tell the disciples AND Peter.” In other words; “Make sure Peter knows! Make sure Peter knows that I did what I said I would do. Make sure Peter knows that I haven’t forgotten or abandoned him. Make sure Peter knows that I’m not finished with him yet. Make sure Peter knows I’m alive!”
God gives many examples through scripture of his pursuit of certain individuals. In Luke 15, we see three different parables that reference something or someone that is lost. We see the great extent to which the father will go to welcome back his lost son, then we see a woman who loses one of ten coins and rejoices when she finds the lost one. And, we see the party that is thrown over finding one lost sheep. This is the extravagant love of our Savior; all of these parables show that he would stop at nothing to restore relationship with us.
You are worth pursuing.
God desires for you to know he hasn’t forgotten you or abandoned you. He has a plan, and it involves you, and He gave His son Jesus on a cross so that you would know it.
So today, let’s take joy and hope in the fact that Jesus not only pursued Peter even in his darkest hours but us as well.
When we run, He pursues us. When we fall, He is there. When we get all the accolades, He pursues us, and when we fail miserably, He is there.
Word of the Day:
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” Psalm 139:7-10
Jesus, thank you for the reminders through scripture of your pursuit of me. Thank you that I am not alone or forgotten. Thank you that you have a plan that is beyond my imagination. Give me faith to trust you and take joy in your presence today. Amen.