A few nights ago a few friends and I were talking about Peter. We were laughing about how he always seemed to be disrobing and jumping into water and how he tried to deny he knew Christ, even to the man who just watched him cut the ear off of his relative. The guy
seemed to have more nervouse energy than he knew what to do with, a sermon illustration just waiting to happen. I wonder if he takes a good ribbing from all the other saints everytime his name is mentioned from the pulpit.
After the conversation I started reading Peter’s first letter to the scattered church. My first thought was, ‘How can this be the same guy?’ He is telling them to rid themselves of envy(2:1). Now this is the guy who, when Christ tells him he will face a martyr’s death, his first words are, “Oh, yeah, well what about John?” He tells them to submit themselves to every authority(2:13), to be like Christ who did not retaliate in suffering but trusted himself to God(2:23). This just doesn’t fit the Peter paradigm, for instance see the above mentioned ear incident!
But here he is writing this stuff, being inspired to write this stuff and meaning every word of it. So what caused the change?
It was Easter. It was the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. It wasn’t a self help program, it wasn’t because Peter finally woke up to his humaness, or because he finally realized the error of his ways and tried extra hard to be good. No, it was because Jesus is true. He told them, “and after this, the Spirit will come upon you and you will receive power and you will be my witnesses (Acts 1:8, Pentacost).” Peter was changed by the resurrection power of His Lord and Savior, my Lord and Savior!
This Easter morning while my family was skipping church, hit with a very uncelabratory Easter Flu, I was struck with the fact that this same power is mine. Paul tells us in Ephesians there is incomparably great power for those of us who believe, that word power is the Greek word for dynamite, we’re talking real power, blow up stuff kind of power. Like Paul, I really do want to know the power of His resurrection. When faced with his crazy, radical love, for me how could I not want it. How could I do anything less than seek for it the same way my little boy was looking for Easter eggs? The great thing is, it is not hidden. It’s mine. Man, I want to live in it!