Peter began to speak to [the people]: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” ~ Acts 10:34-43
Peter has come a long way.
No longer is he the brash not-always-the-brightest-tool-in-the-shed guy. The one who was always trying to correct Jesus, and then later the one to deny him.
No. After Easter, Peter has finally found his footing.
And his world has expanded.
Peter thought he was just one of a group of guys following around his teacher.
Now, he knows he is the leader of a group of witnesses. Witnesses to the great Easter story.
And he finds out that he has to tell this story to people far beyond the scope of what he thought.
The resurrection of Jesus did more than bring life out of death. It brought new life into lives that had felt stagnated. It brought confidence and assurance and leadership and growth.
That's what the Easter story is all about. It is the day we celebrate Jesus resurrection, sure. But it is also about reminding us of the new life we are called to share. The new life we are called to be witnesses to.
Help me to live your Easter story, and to share its good news with the world! Amen