He walked slowly up the stairs. He didn’t really want to go into that room. He didn’t want to face them. But he had nowhere else to go. It was dark, cold and the Jews may be out for more blood. What a difference a few hours had made. It seemed like just minutes ago that he’d left this upper room with his buddies and the Teacher. He could still smell the aroma of the roasted Lamb, he could still see the Teacher’s shadow in the distance as he prayed. How could he have fallen asleep? If only he’d known.

He tried to open the door quietly, but the rusty hinges gave him away. The others in the room looked up when he entered. Not one said a word. The air had been filled with celebration earlier, but now it was heavy, full of grief and sadness.

He found a corner and slid down the wall. He buried his face in his hands. He began to cry again. This time, there were few tears left. He sensed a shape near him and heard John’s voice.

“Did you hear about Judas?” John’s face was full of grief and fear when he looked up.

“They got Judas too?”

“No,” there was a heavy pause, “he hung himself.”

Peter placed his face back in his hands “When will it end?”

He may have slept a bit. If so, it would be the first sleep he’d had in two days. But his rest was shattered by a rattling gate. Instantly everyone was up. They were here. At any moment soldiers could break through.

John looked carefully through the drawn window. “It’s only Mary. Let her in.”

Mary bust through the door. She was breathless from running and could barely speak.

“He’s not there. The tomb. He’s gone. They took his body!”

Peter broke through the crowd. “What are you talking about?” He demanded.

“I went to the tomb to mourn. The stone was rolled away. The tomb was empty Peter!”

Peter hesitated to try to understand. Then he bolted from the room and ran down the steps. He hurried through the streets. ‘It couldn’t be,’ He told himself. When he and John got to the tomb it was just as Mary had told them. The grave clothes lay in a neat pile. The small room smelled of fresh burial spices. But there was no one there.

Peter’s mind was racing. He was angry at the Jews for taking his body. But what if they hadn’t taken it? “What if….NO! I saw him die.” He got back to the room before the others returned. He didn’t know what to make of things. So many questions. What was it he said? The Son of Man must be lifted up? What did he mean? Where was his body?

A thousand other questions went through his mind when suddenly the cool, dark room was warm and full of light. He looked up to see the Teacher. Peter fell to his knees and hung his head. A hand reached down and pulled him to his feet. The Teacher gently lifted Peter’s head so that he could see his eyes.

Peter didn’t understand completely, but looking into Jesus’ eyes he knew everything would be okay.

I am publishing this excerpt from my Built with Grace topic, ‘The Day Peter Learned Love’,  to remind all of us on this Resurrection Weekend that it doesn’t matter what you have done. There is nothing in your past, present or future that can keep you from experiencing the life-changing love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Find a house of worship this weekend and make or renew a decision to follow Him completely.

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