25
Mar
15

GRACE BETWEEN THE LINES

“He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.” – I Corinthians 15:4-5

It is amazing the fresh, new things which one can discover when reading and studying the Scripture!

When Jesus was crucified, the disciples and others who closely followed His ministry must have felt like they had been kicked in the gut.  This man who had made the lame to walk, made the blind to see and raised the dead while teaching that He was the promised Kingdom of God was gone.  The one who had instructed the disciples in how to cast out demons and met them in the middle of the sea walking on the water was dead and buried.  They must have felt alone, distraught, and without a sense of what they were to do now.

On the morning of the third day, Mary Magdalene was accompanied by some other ladies to complete the embalming of Jesus, when they discovered the empty tomb.  Later, after alerting the disciples, Mary Magdalene was visited by Jesus alone (John 20:11-18).  After this, He appeared to the other Mary, Salome, Joanna and others as they were coming back to the sepulchre (Matthew 28:1-10).

His next appearance is to a sole, lone man.  We don’t know much about this appearance at all, just that it happened (John 24:34, I Corinthians 15:5).  This appearance was to Simon Peter.  He had been a disciple who had made great strides in growth, as it was he who declared that Jesus was the Christ (Matthew 16:16) and had walked on water (Matthew 14:29).  But this was also the brash Peter who cut off the ear of a soldier (John 18:10).  And let us not forget that after promising Jesus that he would never deny the Messiah, Peter did the exact opposite (John 18:15-27).

It is difficult to imagine the despair that Peter must have felt, watching Jesus suffer to His death in such a way.  Now, compound that emotional turmoil by imagining how distraught he had become since his denial of The Lord.  While all the disciples were in the middle of a spiritual and emotional storm, that storm must have been multiplied many times for Peter.  Undoubtedly, Peter was not only in a spiritual and emotional storm, but he must have been in mental anguish, as well.

When one reads the scripture above, it was be easy to gloss over it and not pay attention to the private meeting Jesus made a point to have with Peter, who He met before appearing to the twelve.  We have no other knowledge of that meeting, but isn’t it sweet to speculate as to what was said?  There undeniably had to be a sense of grace, mercy, forgiveness and love expressed by The Lord, and utter gratitude on the part of Peter.  It would be very easy to read the grace between the lines.

By reading the scripture in an amazing new light, it is here that one can read between the lines, and see grace.  Thanks to God for His undying grace!

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