6 April 2021Luke 24:1-12
But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened. (v. 12)
I’ve always had a soft spot for impetuous Peter. At the beginning of the gospel narrative he identifies himself as ‘’a sinful man’’ (Luke 5:8), perhaps like Isaiah aware that he was, ‘’a man of unclean lips’’ (Isaiah 6:5). At Caesarea Philippi, his lips will rebuke Jesus (Mark 8:32), and in the garden of the High Priest they will deny Jesus (Luke 22:54-62). Words seem to fall quickly from Peter’s lips, and not always in the way that he would have wanted!
In contrast, there are no words attributed to Peter in this passage. Instead, we are told what Peter did. He got up, ran, stooped, looked, and then went home, amazed at what had happened. For the rest of Luke’s Gospel, Peter is silent. No further words are attributed to him. But we are told that Peter ran.
The only other time that Luke describes someone running is when the Father ran to embrace the Prodigal Son (Luke 15: 20). Apart from an occasional ride on a donkey or boat, everyone is walking. In a hot country that makes sense. Running indicates urgency, engagement, discovery, energy, heightened emotion, immediacy. Both the Father in chapter 15 and Peter in chapter 28 seemed to be so caught up in the possibility of their dreams being realised, that they simply had to run. Their bodies can do nothing else than lean forward in hopeful expectation.
In Luke’s sequel book of Acts, Peter regains his tongue and says, "one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection" (Acts 1:22). It would seem that what Peter ran towards fundamentally changed him.
- How do you explain the change in Peter from Luke 28 to Acts 1?
- What would be so important to make you want to jump up and run?
- Does your tongue ever get you in trouble? What do you do afterwards?