This article was posted by my friend in Christ Bill Taylor on Linked In. I found it very encouraging and wanted to share:
The hardest part for Jesus about dying on the cross was being separated from God his Father. God could not look on Him while the guilt of all our sins, past, present and future rested on Jesus as He paid the penalty for our sins. When He rose from the dead, Jesus proved His power over death, so we know He will raise us up in His time. The two resurrection words that pull most at my heart are “and Peter” when the angel told the women, “But go your way, tell his disciples AND PETER” Mark 16:7.
Peter denied Jesus 3 times and felt terrible (Mt. 26:75, Lk. 22:62). Women like to bring peace and encourage men if men will listen. God knew that the women would tell Peter that Jesus still wanted him. It worked – Peter was with the disciples when Jesus told them to Get Going! and gave them the Holy Spirit: Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
22And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: John 20:21-22 When Jesus said “and Peter,” He knew Peter wouldn’t get going. He knew Peter would go fishing instead, and He said “and Peter” ANYWAY! Wow! Think about His love for YOU! Jesus went after Peter AGAIN (Jn. 21).
Having created Peter, Jesus knew that men are afraid to admit their feelings for fear of being hurt. Peter had seen Jesus WEEP at Lazarus’ tomb, he saw Him mourn for Jerusalem (Mt. 23:37, Lk. 13:34) and Capernaum (Mt. 11:23, Lk. 10:15). Peter knew that if he let God send him as God had sent Jesus, he would be hurt when people he loved didn’t accept the gospel. He wanted no part of Jesus’ sorrow or grief (Is. 53:3-4). Jesus FORCED Peter to admit that Peter loved Jesus. That didn’t make Peter love Jesus – he already did – but Peter didn’t recognize his love for Jesus.
Once he admitted to himself that he loved Jesus, however, Peter couldn’t stop; he HAD to spread the word (2 Cor. 5:14)! That’s why Jesus wants us to know His love for us. Similarly, a man must ADMIT to himself that he loves his wife, and then he must convince HER that he loves her. If he doesn’t do that, telling lost people that God loves them won’t work. When lost people see husband and wife forgiving one another and passing God’s love and grace back and 4th between them, they want God’s love for themselves.
Jesus set the example just after the resurrection – “and Peter!” By that, He meant and you, and He meant and me and He meant and my wife. He meant and everyone who chooses to belong to Him, no matter what our sins have been. We must forgive and encourage each other as Christ forgave and encouraged Peter. You can sum up the entire gospel of repentance, grace, forgiveness, and love in two words, “and Peter.”