William Barclay: The Most Precious Thing

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“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

“The most precious thing in this passate is the two words which are in no other Gospel. ‘Go,’ said the messenger. ‘Tell His disciples and Peter.’ How that message must have cheered Peter’s heart when he received it! He must have been tortured with the memory of his disloyalty, and suddenly there came a special message for him. It was characteristic of Jesus that He thought, not of the wrong Peter had done him but of the remorse he was undergoing. Jesus was far more eager to comfort the penitent sinner than to punish the sin. Someone has said, ‘The most precious thing about Jesus is the way in which He trusts us on the field of our defeat.”

William Barclay in The Gospel of Mark (DSBS; Edinburgh; The Saint Andrew Press, 1975) 369.

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

As we have learned, Mark is the Petrine Gospel. It’s Peter’s account as penned by Mark. So, the two words that are the most precious thing about this proclamation—and Peter—are Peter’s Easter greeting to us.

What is he saying to us?

He is saying that our failures are not final. Even if we sinned repeatedly, and we feel like we are spiraling to defeat, our risen Lord Jesus pursues us with love and forgiveness, with grace and mercy.

That’s Easter generosity!

The Lenten journey has taught us that prayer, fasting, and giving transform us into people who look and love like Jesus. We become generous conduits of kindness and forgiveness, of grace and mercy.

But, it’s hard, really hard.

For sure, which is why Jesus modeled the way for us. He tracked down the fisherman, Peter, that he had picked to be a pillar in the church, who betrayed Him three times and forgave him. That’s good news.

There’s hope for the rest of us.

And now, don’t stop the disciplines. Continue to pray daily. Fast like the early church, at least a couple times a week to stay centered, and give generously by serving as a conduit of material and spiritual blessings.

When we do this, we take hold of life, and reflect the love of our risen Savior to a watching world.

Happy Easter!