Mark 16:1-7 (ESV)

When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.

[2] And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.

[3] And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”

[4] And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back— it was very large.

[5] And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed.

[6] And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.

[7] But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”

Jesus is risen from the dead! He is risen as He said! It is an event that can hardly be overstated. There is so much that can be said regarding the events surrounding the resurrection. Allow me to draw your attention to just one – Mark 16:7. The angel is telling the women who have come to the tomb that Jesus is alive and that they should report that to the disciples – and Peter. Why “the disciples and Peter”. Why not just “the disciples”?

1) This is an angel talking. Angels do not make up what they are going to say. They report what they are told to say. God has sent the angels to these women to say to them “tell the disciples and Peter.” Why does God zero in on Peter? We are not told but it would be hard to conclude that it did not have something to do with the fact that Peter denied the lord during Jesus’ trial before the Sanhedrin. Peter has sinned. He wept bitterly when he did it and he no doubt has not recovered from the fact that he did it. The guilt and shame is compounded by the fact that Jesus died and Peter no doubt is thinking that his last encounter with His Master, even if Jesus didn’t do what he thought he would, was a look that pierced through to his soul and brought him to his senses (See Luke 22:61).

2) Must Peter be told separately from the others because he has not been with them? We know from John’s account that Peter and John were together when Mary found them to tell them of the resurrection. Why then a special announcement to Peter?

3) None of the eleven have anything to brag about. They all fled when the going got tough. We know that only John was at the cross. Peter at least followed form a distance. But Peter did something that none of the others did. He consciously denied even knowing Jesus. It’s one thing to hide. It is quite something else to get caught and escape through denial and lies.

4) Peter is singled out because he needs that special word from Christ more than the others do. His sin has pierced him more than he can bare. A special word regarding the resurrection will work toward His recovery. A special word from the One he denied will do wonders.

5) Peter is singled out because he is alone. Perhaps there are those among the eleven who don’t know what he did and Peter cannot bring himself to tell them. Perhaps he just feels so awful that he isolates himself from the rest. Perhaps he is inside his own head just trying to sort the whole thing out and accompanied by the thoughts of his own denial his state is worse.

6) This word from Jesus is a wonderful example of pastoral care of those who sin and hurt because of it; those who feel that they have sinned beyond the point of being used (Remember the restoration that takes place in John 21), those who, even in a group, feel that they really don’t belong. There is no place so lonely and isolating as a crowd of peers who do not know what the wrestlings are and wouldn’t respond very well if they did. Jesus’ special mention of Peter in the direction to the women is a powerful word to Peter of the love of Jesus for him, even at his worst moment. “This resurrection was even for you”. It is a notable thing that Mark is the only one to record this singling out of Peter. Mark’s main source for his inspired Book was Peter himself. It was most likely Peter who mentioned this fact that Jesus specifically mentioned him. It stuck with him. It probably sustained him in the very many dark days that serving Jesus would bring him. He no doubt though of it in times when he could have escaped trouble with another denial. Not again, he would reason. Jesus came back for me and I will not leave Him again.

7) Jesus is alive, and dear Christian, He is alive for you. You have denied him in worse ways than Peter ever did. And He says “Go tell [your name] I am here”. If you are among those who feel alone, different, isolated. If you have isolated yourself from others because of sin or pain or misunderstanding, know this. Jesus Christ was utterly forsaken by God on the cross so that you might hear from Jesus this great truth “Never will I leave you or forsake you”. He calls you by name. He loves you personally, deeply and intimately.

8)  What a great message in a world that is far too full of hurting, lonely people whose solutions to their loneliness is running away from God with even more sin. Give a message that God, through Christ and because of the death and resurrection, accepts sinners. Their problem is sin and sin isolates from God as well as others. It causes us to turn inward. And it can kill. Jesus comes and says “I have risen. I am before you. You will see Me.” What a glory this is.