“The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon.”
It had been the worst few days in the Apostle Peter’s life. He had boasted on the night of the betrayal that he would follow Jesus to the death if necessary (John 13:37). We are never more confident of our strength than in the hour when we are to collapse. So it was with Peter. His great love for Jesus made him overconfident about how courageous he was.
In the Garden while the Master prayed in agony, he slept with the rest (Mark 14:37). Jesus had asked them to keep watch and pray. Instead they were seduced by sleep.
When the soldiers came to arrest the Lord, he had clumsily swung his sword and clipped off the ear of an official’s servant. That act could have cost him his life except that Jesus intervened and healed the man.
Then, when the end appeared to be upon them, he ran as fast as any of the other eleven to escape. There was no thought of safety for the Master now. All Peter could think of was saving his own life.
Yet Peter did shadow the parade back to the city and to the house of the high priest (Mark 14:54). He tried to see how the tragedy would unwind. Such was his love that it stemmed the flood of fear and allowed him to do this much.
What is so beautiful about our Beloved Lord’s restoration of Peter is the fact that Jesus made a personal invitation to Peter specifically to meet Him in Galilee (Mark 16:17). Then Jesus met one on One with Peter to re-establish the relationship on a more sure footing.
It was a new beginning for Peter, and all the disciples understood very well how fully Peter was back into the best of relationships with Jesus.
I believe we are allowed to see the complete collapse of Peter in order to see the beauty of our Lord’s restorative work with one who—though a failure—still loves Jesus.
If you are in Peter’s place at the close of this year, look again to the majestic and overcoming love of our Beloved Saviour and come back today to Him make the New Year a new beginning.