But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goes before you into Galilee: there shall you see him, as he said to you.
Matthew, who also reports the angel's words, has only "tell His disciples." Mark (the "interpreter" of Peter) adds words which must have come like wine and oil to the bruised heart of the denier, "and Peter." To the others, it was of less importance that his name should have been named then; to him it was life from the dead that he should have been singled out to receive a word of forgiveness and a summons to meet his Lord; as if He had said through His angel messenger, "I would see them all, but whoever may stay behind, let not him be wanting to our glad meeting again."
I. NOTICE THE LOVING MESSAGE WITH WHICH HE BECKONS THE WANDERER BACK.
1. A revelation of love stronger than death.
2. A revelation of a love that is not turned away by our sinful changes. Whilst we forget Him, He remembers us. We cannot get away from the sweep of His love, wander we ever so far.
3. A love which sends a special message because of special sin. The depth of our need determines the strength of the restorative power put forth. The more we have sinned, the less can we believe in Christ's love; and so, the more we have sinned, the more marvellous and convincing does He make the testimony and operations of His love to us.
4. A love which singles out a sinful man by name. Christ deals with us not in the mass but soul by soul. He has a clear individualizing knowledge of each. He loves every single soul with a distinct love. He calls to thee by thy name — as truly as He singled out Peter here, as truly as when His voice from heaven said, "Saul, Saul." To thee forgiveness, help, purity, life eternal are offered.
II. THE SECRET MEETING BETWEEN CHRIST AND PETER (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5). This is the second stage in the victorious conflict of Divine love with human sin. What tender consideration there is in meeting Peter alone, before seeing him in the company of others! How painful would have been the rush of the first emotions of shame awakened by Christ's presence, if their course had been checked by any eye but His own beholding them! The act of faith is the meeting of the soul with Christ alone. Do you know anything of that personal communion? Have you, your own very self, by your own penitence for your own sin, and your own thankful faith in the love which thereby becomes truly yours, isolated yourself from all companionship, and joined yourself to Christ? Then, through that narrow passage where we can only walk singly, you will come into a large place. The act of faith which separates us from all men, unites us for the first time in real brotherhood, Hebrews 12:22-24.
III. THE GRADUAL CURE OF THE PARDONED APOSTLE (John 21:15-19). "Lovest thou Me?" includes everything. Hast thou learned the lesson of My mercy? Hast thou responded to My love? Then thou art fit for My work, and beginning to be perfected. So the third stage in the triumph of Christ's love over man's sin is when we, beholding that love flowing towards us, and accepting it by faith, respond to it with our own, and are able to say, "Thou knowest that I love Thee." And when we love, we can follow. With love to Christ for motive, and Christ Himself for pattern, and following him for our one duty, all things are possible, and the utter defeat of sin in us is but a question of time. The love of Christ, received into the heart, triumphs gradually but surely over all sin, transforms character, turning even its weakness into strength, and so, from the depths of transgression and very gates of hell, raises men to God.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.