For the Guilt-Ridden

Assistant Pastor Damion Glisper || Mark 16:1-8 || March 31, 2024

Why do you think Peter was mentioned specifically in our text? Was Peter somehow special? Surely he was no more of a sinner than any of the other disciples, nor was he any less of a sinner than any of the other disciples. So why did the angel of the Lord mention him specifically in our text? Let’s remember back to when Jesus predicted all of the disciples would fall away. But Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.” But Jesus said to Peter, “Not only would he deny him, but he would deny him three times.” To that Peter said with even more zeal, “Even if I die with you, I will never disown you.” But we know what happened. A servant girl accused Peter of knowing Jesus and he denied it. The servant girl accused Peter of knowing Jesus a second time, this time with other people standing around. And again, he denied it. The third time the people standing around, they accused Peter of knowing Jesus because he was a Galilean. And yet, and still, Peter denied it, even with as much zeal that he used when he told Jesus that he would never disown him. Then Peter remembered the words of Jesus and wept. So why Peter? Of all the disciples, Peter probably felt the most guilt. Peter was hurt. He was riddled with the guilt that he felt. But the women arrived at that tomb Sunday morning and the stone was rolled away. The angel of the Lord said that Jesus had risen and he wanted the women to look and see for themselves and they looked and the tomb was empty. That same Jesus who was crucified on the cross has now risen. So I ask you, who needed to hear that message the most? Probably Peter. He had failed his Lord and Savior. He was riddled with guilt. But now I ask you another question. Who else needs to know that their Redeemer lives? Each and every one of us who struggles with the guilt that comes from knowing our sins. Maybe I am struggling with the guilt that comes from knowing that I have not always spoken well of my neighbor. Maybe you are struggling with the guilt that comes from knowing that you have done the same. Whatever our sins, we struggle with the guilt that comes from knowing those sins. But that first Easter Sunday morning the tomb was empty. Peter’s Savior had risen from the dead. Imagine how Peter felt knowing that his Savior was alive. The joy that he felt from knowing that his Savior was alive. His Savior wanted him to know that his sins were forgiven. Peter was at peace with God now and forever. My dear brothers and sisters, your Savior has risen. My Savior has risen. He wants us to know that our sins are indeed forgiven and we too are guilt-free. Because Jesus is alive and because he lives, we too will live. And that reality changes everything for us. Amen.