He’s Looking For You

As the angel told Mary and the others after the resurrection, Jesus wants to see you too. Let Him restore you as He restored Peter.

Scripture: Mark 16:6-14


Alright. Thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Well, that greeting establishes the fact that I do care how you are and that this is your good friend, Bob Cook. I’m glad to be friends with so many of you. Of course, there’s lots of us that won’t meet until we get to glory, and that’s alright. [chuckle] We’ll spend the first 10,000 years in a big radio rally up there. [chuckle] But I’m glad to be friends with lots of you whom I know personally and whom I’ve met by way of your letters and telephone calls and whatnot. And so I do care, I have you in mind. I think about you, and I pray for you, those of you whom I know. And then, oftentimes, as I sit praying with my good wife, Coreen, we pray, “Lord, bless all the folk that we don’t know and we haven’t met, but to whom we minister day by day.” We belong, you and I, don’t we? And I’m glad that’s so. I guess I’m built that way. I need somebody to belong to. So thanks for being there.

Well, we’re looking at the end of the gospel of Mark. Last time we got together, we stopped long enough to remark that human difficulties are taken care of when you bring them to the almightiness of the risen Christ. Who shall roll away the stone? How shall we feed so great a multitude in the wilderness? How can we do this, and how can we do that? Why could not we cast him out? All the human difficulties that you find in the form of questions that were raised by the disciples during the earthly ministry of our Lord Jesus. The answer, of course, is the almighty power of the Lord Jesus Christ. When you bring your difficulties to Jesus, he has the answer. Not in the simple striving of human finite strength. Yes, do your best. God expects you to do so, but not simply the striving of limited human strength, but beyond that, the almighty power of God intervening in your life process.

So the Christian life is really a continuing miracle, isn’t it? I’m glad that’s so. God walking in your shoes every step of the way. You, indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God, bringing the presence of God with you into life situations. Well, that’s great, isn’t it? It says they were afraid when they saw the angel, and I’m sure I also would have been startled and fearful because that was something that we’re not expecting. And he said, “Don’t be afraid. You’re looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen. He’s not here. Behold the place where they laid him. Go your way. Tell his disciples and Peter that he goes before you into Galilee. There shall you see him, as he said unto you.”

Small thought here. People are routinely scared to death of God, any mention of Him outside of well-structured religious occasions. They go to church, and, if they go to church, they feel vaguely comfortable in the structured situation where God is spoken of in hymns and in sermons and song. But you talk about God outside, let’s say, on the street or in the grocery or in the barbershop or in the garage, and immediately, you find a vague uneasiness, don’t you? And they sidle away from you. If they could get away, they will. People are afraid of God in situations that are not religiously structured, such as church. Now, that’s human, to be that way. Adam and Eve hid themselves from the presence of God in the garden, after they knew they were sinners. The natural reaction to a holy God is to shrink away from Him.

The only answer to that is trust in the living Christ. He’s not here. He’s risen. Don’t be afraid. He isn’t here; He’s risen. And He wants to talk with you. That was the message that the angels gave, oversimplified, of course. The answer to my fear of a holy God is trust in a risen Christ because He was offered for our sins and raised again, it says, for our justification. The fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is seated in the heavenlies, making intercession for you and for me, is our guarantee that we need not be afraid of God. And so the writer to the Hebrew says, “Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” You can walk right into the throne room of Heaven, without flinching, without being afraid, and without fear of being rebuffed. You’re welcome because Jesus is there.

Oh, that’s great, isn’t it? Oh! Bring your natural shrinking from a holy God, it’s there in every one of us, bring that tendency and the problems that cause it into the presence of the living Christ. He’s not here. He’s risen. He wants to talk to you. Bring your problems and your tendency to shrink away from a holy God, bring them all to the Lord Jesus and let Him cleanse, let Him strengthen, let Him reassure you, and then let Him live his wonderful life through you.

Now, there’s a good point that I wanna stop on here in verse 7, “Go your way and tell his disciples and Peter that He’s going ahead of you into Galilee. There shall you see Him, as he said unto you.” Tell his disciples. Now, that would include the whole group, wouldn’t it? But the angel said, “and Peter.”

Why is that? Well, you know, don’t you? Peter was the one that said, “Though all men forsake thee and flee yea, will I never forsake thee. I will lay down my life for that… I’m willing to die for you, Lord.” That’s what he said. Well, he made one violent move there in the garden of Gethsemane and cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest. Dr. Luke, I think, is the only one that mentions that the Lord Jesus put the ear back on and healed it. But after that, Peter was not active. He followed afar off, it says. He was standing in the outer courtyard and John, who had gone right on in, went out and brought him inside so that he could be warm and be in the area where our Lord Jesus was being arraigned. Now came the recognition. “You were one of them. You were there in the Garden. You talk like them.” The points of recognition. And each time, he said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t know him. I don’t know him.” And the final occasion was that he began to curse and swear and say, “I don’t know who you’re talking about!” They left him alone after that.

Small thought here. The world will leave you alone when you sink to their level. They’ll persecute you as long as you maintain a Christian standard, but if you sink to their level, they’ll leave you alone, ’cause they’ve gained their objective. They didn’t ask him anything after that, ’cause he had sunk to their level. If you are being harassed because you’re a Christian, hold your head high and don’t lower your standards, because when you sink to the world’s level, you don’t win the world, you become like them and they leave you alone because they’ve gained their objective. You follow that? Anyhow, this is what had happened. And now, our blessed Lord knew, and the angels knew.

Has it ever occurred to you that the angels know about your failures and your successes? They do. The angels knew as well that Peter was a very special case, and so, this angel said, “Tell his disciples and don’t forget Peter, especially Peter.” He’s the one that’s been out there crying his heart out. He’s been so sad, he’s been devastated, he’s been heartbroken over his own failure. A big man weeping disconsolately because he has blown it, he has failed his Lord in the hour when he could have stood up for him. “Tell him. Tell Peter I wanna talk to him.” That must have meant a lot to Simon Peter, when the message came back. Oh, yes. “Tell his disciples and Peter.” Now, just to stop here for a moment. If I’m talking to somebody today who’s failed, no matter what the failure is, you’ve failed somewhere and you feel bad about it and you think, “This is it. I’ve blown it. No more chance for me. It’s all over. My usefulness is done with.”

Remember, the Lord knows about it. Number one, the angels know about it, and you still can be forgiven and restored just as Simon Peter was. “It’s not over ’til it’s over,” Yogi Berra used to say. Oh, listen, Jesus can take you as you are, failures and all, and make of you what he wants you to be. Simon Peter became the spokesman for the new church. On the day of Pentecost and thereafter, he was the one who spoke up under the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God. God can make something of your life with the failures. He can strengthen you where you’ve been weak. He can forgive you and cleanse you and make you strong and able instead of as Peter did, flinching under fire, you can stand tall for God. Am I talking to somebody who has failed? You’re disappointed, you’re discouraged, you’re broken up. You are in despair. You’re saying to yourself, “That’s it. No more. I’m done. Washed up. I’ve blown it.” Is that what you’re saying?

Listen, you don’t have to do that. The Lord Jesus knows about you and he’s out looking for you. “Tell my disciples, and Peter. Be sure you tell Peter, ’cause I want to talk to him.” Jesus is out looking for you so that He can restore you and strengthen you and then make of you what He wants you to become. That’s good news, isn’t it, for somebody? Well, they went out quickly and fled from the sepulcher, for they were trembling, and were amazed, neither said anything to any men for they were afraid. Now, He appeared to Mary Magdalene and she went and told them that had been with him as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, believed not. Didn’t believe. After that, he appeared in another form unto two of them as they walked and went in the country. These are the two that went on their way to Emmaus. And the Lord Jesus drew near and said, “What manner of conversation it is you have and you’re sad?” He said, “Are you a stranger here? You don’t know what’s been going on?” They told him what had been going on and they finished up by saying, “We thought it was he who would have brought deliverance to Jerusalem.”

In other words, “We thought he was the Messiah. I guess we were mistaken, ’cause he’s dead.” He said, “Oh, foolish ones and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.” And beginning with Moses and in all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. They got to the place where they were going and they said, “Listen. It’s late. Come in and stay with us. Have dinner with us.” And then as the custom was, the guest would break the bread and ask the blessing. And when Jesus did that, they recognized him. Their eyes were opened. They knew it was he, then he was gone.

Well, they ran back to Jerusalem and told the news. But it said neither believed they them. [chuckle] Afterward, he appeared onto the 11 as they sat at meat and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart because they believe not, them which had seen him after he was risen.
Now our time is gone, but when we get together again, I wanna talk with you about that 14th verse based on the verses of course that went before, the unbelief and what it meant in the light of the resurrection, alright?

Dear Father, today, may we truly believe our Lord. May we relate our difficulties to His resurrection power and may we give Him a chance to make of us what He wants. Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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