Sometimes, when we’re not sure what has happened and what it means, all we can do is run in the direction of hope. That’s what Peter does on the first Easter.
He has heard from the women who have been to Jesus’ tomb. They claim to have heard news they could have never imagined: Jesus had risen from the dead. Like all of the other men who hear their report, Peter is tempted to dismiss it as wishful thinking. Alongside that temptation, though, are stirrings of curiosity, inklings of wonder and, perhaps, stabs of shame. Curiosity and wonder, because it is possible that their Teacher and Friend is alive. Shame, because Peter denied Jesus in the final hours of his life.
Would Peter look into Jesus’ eyes and hear his voice again? If so, what would he see and hear? Disappointment and harshness? Tenderness and mercy? Peter couldn’t be sure, but he runs toward possibility.
When he gets to the graveyard, he sees that Jesus’ tomb is empty, except for the linen cloths which had shrouded his lifeless body. Peter is amazed at what had happened (v. 12). His amazement will grow and deepen for the rest of his life: amazement becomes delight, doxology, alleluia, and amen.
First, though, Peter has to run toward hope before he knows it is true. So do we. So can we.
Faith is moving toward the good news we’ve heard, taking the next step and then the next, and then the next. As we do, what we seek finds us, what we need meets us, and what we hope claims us.
As I run toward Jesus and toward hope, what do I need to—or, get to—leave behind? Fear? Shame? Guilt? Loneliness?
Surprising and Saving God, despite disappointment with myself and discouragement about the world, give me faith and energy to move again toward your hope-giving promises. Amen.