“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.’ ” Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. (Mark 16:6-8 NIV)
In Mark 16 at the tomb the message given to the disciples was that the resurrected Christ would meet them in Galillee. There Heaven's power would be dispensed upon the group of Christ followers. There the Holy Spirit would baptize them into new intimacy. There they would go from onlookers of the crucifixion to witnesses of the resurrected Christ. But notice the message was directed at the "disciples and Peter". Though Peter had denied Jesus he was specifically singled out among the followers. He had failed in the "sifting" moment and no longer was among those who followed Jesus. Guilt ridden for abandoning his Master, he no doubt was heading back to his old life when Jesus' invitation to meet him in Galillee came. What tremendous news! That Christ accepts the failed follower; that restoration is possible...all he had to do was go and meet with Jesus.
On that day of Pentecost, it was Peter who proclaimed “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” (Acts 2:38-40 NIV) Indeed, how could he proclaim this forgiveness and empowerment? How could he be sure that God would accept the cry for repentance from failed followers? How could he know power would fall upon them? It takes one to know one.
Today I rejoice that failed followers are included in the invitation and that there is precedent that God can restore the call with power to those who have denied Him. All we have to do is go meet with Jesus.