April 1, 2023 • Life for Leaders
Scripture — Mark 16:5-7 (NRSV)
As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.”
Empty tombs, like the cross, are remembrances for us that there is hope.
In the last devotion we learned that it is difficult to look at destruction and have hope. Mary, Mary, and Salome walked into the tomb expecting death and found a messenger. They went to the tomb in angst, but it is no surprise that Peter dealt with his angst somewhere else.
Peter made the confession that Jesus is Lord. He was in the inner circle. He was quick to speak and ready to fight (John 18:11). He was determined to follow Jesus. But Jesus told Peter that he would deny him (Matthew 26:34). Whether it was denial or blind spots in Peter’s heart and mind, the combination of his denial and Jesus death are the perfect combination of destruction. There was the apparent loss of a friend, a leader, the Son of the living God, and Messiah.
Peter did not come to the tomb first, but the message of hope was there for him. Mary, Mary, and Salome came with their uncertainty and loss of hope and found an empty tomb. They were sent to inform every disciple that, while they knew Jesus did not almost die, he was not dead anymore.
What is significant is that the angel included “and Peter.” It might be that Peter looked at his circumstance and concluded that he was worse than other disciples because of his status. Or he might have looked as his denial as worse than the rest of the disciples who ran away (Mark 14:50). Regardless of the origin of his angst and even though he was not at the tomb, “and Peter” means that hope sprung forth from a place of death. It was a message for Peter and for every other disciple who looked at Peter it was a message for them also.
That was not the last time that the disciple—the Apostle—Peter failed. But much as the Lord’s supper is for all disciples, I am certain he remembered going forward as often as he struggled, “and Peter” still applied. Empty tombs, like the cross, are remembrances for us that there is hope.
What do you think Peter felt when he got the message directed specifically toward him?
What are the circumstances in your life where you are the “and Peter”?
Who are the others around you who need to know they are the “and Peter”?
What does inclusion in the body mean for the way you carry out your work?
Take some time to dwell in the tomb with the angel’s words: Do not fear, He is not here, Go tell the disciples…
We thank you for the power of your Spirit that leads us to the truth again and again. Thank you for Peter’s life because it reminds us of the hope for ourselves. Thank you, God, for raising your Son for our lives to be secure in him. Amen.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project’s online commentary. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Conclusions: Drawing Together Some Threads (Mark).
Subscribe to Life for Leaders
Sign up to receive a Life for Leaders devotional each day in your inbox. It’s free to subscribe and you can unsubscribe at any time.
DeLano J. Sheffield is the Business Resource Specialist for Goodwill of MoKan where he connects to people on the fringes, training them to reach their full potential through learning and the power of work; he also is on the frontlines of the advances of the fourth industrial revolution and coaches leaders on diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. He began his career as an architectural engineer then went on to attend seminary. In every part of his life he finds ways to infuse theology into vocation, and strengthen practical connections of faith and daily activity. DeLano lives in Kansas City, Missouri.