Sunday, March 27, 2016

Tell the Disciples and Peter

Mark 16:4-7

Introduction: The Cross and Jesus resurrection is at the core of the Gospel and it is our only hope. It is the truth that we can cling on in the face of death and uncertainty. As I prepare for this message, I' ve been reflecting on how life changing a reality of the resurrection is. I listed quotes of some of the well known Christian leaders then and now. They explored how the resurrection can be trusted as an historical event and how the resurrection changes everything.

Timothy Keller said: "If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn't rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like His teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead." Billy Graham mentioned: "There is more evidence that Jesus rose from the dead than there is that Julius Caesar ever lived or that Alexander the Great died at the age of 33. Martin Luther quoted: "Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime." Andrew Murray highlighted: "A dead Christ I must do everything for; a living Christ does everything for me."

Why is that Peter was specially mentioned here by the angel. Why is not John or Thomas or the other disciples? As we remembered in the preceding chapter what had happened before Christ was crucified at the cross. In chapter 14 of the book of Mark Jesus was predicting Peter's denial, we will see that starting from verse 27-31. You can see the scenario or the story line here: Jesus has predicted Peter's denial. Who is more accurate in telling the future than our Lord Himself? Who can really know what is the conditions of our heart than Him alone? For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

1. But Peter insisted emphatically in chapter 14:31, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you."... And all the others said the same... remember in the election, I seconded. Application: If we can only know that apart from Christ we can do nothing, we will be humble enough to admit our inadequacy. If we can only rely on His omniscience, we will be more inclined to do His will. Notice how Jesus prayed as He is more predisposed to do the Father's will, you will see in verse 36, "Father everything is possible for you, take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will." May this be our prayer always whenever or wherever we are. It is to do His will.

2. Then when Jesus came back from the Garden of Gethsemane he found His disciples sleeping. This is where God was at His best and man was at his worst. He said, "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." Application: The statement of Jesus best described of our condition. Are we all fired up every Sunday to come to church while we have our aching back and our body was so tired because of a long week? The reality kicks in, But He understand! Are we all get excited on our prayer meeting or family devotion while we have so much work and hectic schedules along the way? Definitely not so! But He understand! In this instance, Jesus went back and forth for 3 times but still found His disciples sleeping instead of praying in this very critical situation for Christ said that He will be delivered into the hands of sinners. These series of events took place and Jesus knew it after all, and He understand. "If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself."- 2 Tim. 2:13

3. Peter was the one who said, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you." Everybody just seconded and said the same. Going forward to our text, we can now understand why the angel said, "But go, tell his disciples and Peter, he is going ahead of you into Galilee..." Application: No matter what we did and wherever we come from God still will understand and love us. We are special to Him. I will admit that many times I fail God but He never fails. People fail us and we fail people, but Jesus will never fail! The Lord instructed the angel to specifically mentioned Peter to the 3 women who came at Jesus tomb. He could have said, "tell all the disciples that He will go ahead to Galilee.." and Peter will be included for he is one of the disciples. But the Lord make a remarked to specifically recognize Peter for he blunder the most. Look in our society the failure culture that we have that if someone fall everybody criticizes him. No one even wants to pick him up. Remember Steve Harvey...

However, Christ showed His compassion and grace to the one that fails. No wonder, Jesus found Peter went back to his old job. We will see in chapter 21 in the book of John, verse 3 to verse 6. The shame really brought him back to his old ways. Still, Christ was so patient. He waits for Peter to respond to Him. He said, "Friends haven't you any fish?" No, they answered. Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.." He is so willing to help us in spite all of our shortcomings. Later, Jesus invited the disciples and Peter to dine with Him. Here it is: While they were eating Christ asked Peter, "Do you love me more than these?" And we know what Peter said. But Christ asked Peter three times and finally Peter broke and said humbly in John 21:17, "Lord you know all things!!! and you know that I love you." And Jesus understands and accepts us as soon as we realize our inadequacy. He is not expecting from us too much. He knows us, our limitation and our hang ups. He is just wanted us to admit it!

Conclusion: Remember after this important event at Peter's life, he preached in the day of Pentecost with the eleven disciples, raised his voice to addressed the crowd were after He preached about the resurrected Christ, 3,000 were added to the Church and daily their number increased those who were being saved.

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