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.
No action of Christ's life is without importance and significance.
I. TO WHOM WAS THIS MESSAGE PARTICULARLY SENT? To Peter, who was then distinguished from the other disciples, not in merit, but in guilt. He was not thus honoured, however, because of his guilt, but because he was now penitent and sorrowful. It was not his cursing and oaths which brought this mercy to him, but his penitence and tears. There is no comfort here for the hardened or careless sinner, or for the self-righteous, or for the man who, in the midst of his iniquity, feels no self-abhorrence, no deep contrition, for his guilt. But for the broken-hearted sinner, there is the sweetest comfort.
II. THE GRACIOUS BEING WHO SENT THIS MESSAGE.
1. Christ had just the same compassionate heart after His resurrection that he had before it. Death changed the nature of His body, but not the nature of His heart or the disposition of His soul. He still looks on those who seek Him, with the same tenderness, sympathy, and love.
2. The risen Jesus looks more on the graces than on the sins of the penitent Christian. He seems to have thought more of Peter's sorrow than of his curses, more of his tears than of his oaths. He sees so much of the desperate wickedness of our hearts, as to make Him contemplate with pleasure the least good His grace enables us to bring forth. Who would not value a flower which he should find blooming on a rock, or throwing its fragrance over the sands of a desert? Not that in giving His grace and pardon, He overlooks the sin; to Peter's everlasting shame the treachery which he committed is recorded against him in God's Holy Word. The sin is forgiven, but the remembrance and shame of it still remain.
3. Christ sometimes vouchsafes to the believer, when bowed down with extraordinary sorrow, more than ordinary comfort It is not a light thing that will quiet the conscience of the Christian, after he had been overcome by temptation. The storm which sin occasions in his soul, cannot easily be soothed into a calm. The mourning Christian needs some special interposition of grace and mercy, before he can again cherish in his heart a hope of pardon and acceptance. In the mysterious riches of His goodness, the Lord sometimes vouchsafes to His Saints, in these seasons, peculiar consolations. He recalls their soul, "tossed with tempest and not comforted," from the contemplation of its own depravity, and tells it to look again with the eye of faith on the cross of His Son.
4. The contrite sinner may draw much comfort and hope from Christ's resurrection. What a ground for rejoicing have we in the fact that "Christ is risen!" Let us seek to know the power of His resurrection.
III. THE MESSENGERS EMPLOYED.
1. An angel. Why?
(1) To do honour to Christ.
(2) To teach us, that the breach between us and the angels is healed. They again regard us as friends and love us as brethren. They are made our ministering servants, and do not disdain the office.
(3) The contrite sinner is peculiarly an object of love to the heavenly hosts. The angel of the Lord has compassion on the weeping Peter, and rejoices to take to him a cup of consolation. What a lesson for ministers, what a lesson for every Christian, is here! It is a heavenly work to comfort the sorrowful.
2. Three poor women receive the message from the lips of this heavenly herald, and carry it to the mourning penitent. Why? They had been first in love, affection, service; it was but right that they should be first in honour and reward. And note the manner in which these women were sent. "Go quickly" (Matthew 28:7). Why such haste? There was nothing sinful in the feelings which a view of their Lord's tomb was likely to excite; but they were not suffered to stay there to indulge them, that we might be taught that pious feeling must lead to pious actions. It is good and sweet to think of Christ; but it is better to act for Christ. He is the best servant, not who delights to stand in his master's presence, but who carefully minds and diligently goes about his master's business.
(Charles Bradley, M. A.)
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.