Summary: In this sermon the pastor assumes the charcter of Peter and tells the ressurrection story from Peter’s perspective. The pastor’s wife embellishes the story from Mary Magdalene’s point of view.
Witnesses of the Resurrection
I. Peter’s Story(1)
Good morning. My name is Peter. Some people call me Simon but I prefer Peter.
Since I was in the area and since it is Easter morning Pastor Tow asked me to share with you my eyewitness account of the resurrection of Jesus. It was certainly an event I will never forget.
First let me give you a little background of my relationship with Jesus. It was actually my brother, Andrew, who introduced me to Him. We had both been following the ministry of John the Baptist. What a fiery preacher John was- a little strange but powerful. Did you know that his favorite meal was grasshoppers and honey? (2) Well anyway, John had been saying that the Messiah would soon appear on the scene. That was something we Jews had longed for for centuries. When Andrew told me that Jesus might be the Messiah I decided to go find out for myself. That was the day Jesus gave me the name Peter. It means “a rock”.(3) I guess I love that name so much because Jesus gave it to me.
I was his disciple for three years, you know. On one occasion right after we had first met, I and the rest of the crew had been fishing all night long. We were exhausted. We had tried every trick of the trade and had caught nothing. Then Jesus walks up and tells us where to put the net. Can you imagine a carpenter telling us fishermen how to fish? It didn’t set too well with us but we decided to go ahead and give it a shot. Would you believe it—we caught so many fish our boat almost sunk. That got our attention.
Then Jesus said something to me that changed my life. He said, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” Those words did something to my soul. At that moment I knew that God had a plan for my life—something more than just making a living—something of eternal consequence. And it all depended upon following Jesus.(4)
We followed Jesus during the next three years. What a trip that was. Jesus worked all kinds of miracles. He even let us get involved. One time we were in a deserted area with 5,000 men not to mention the women and children. We were all tired from ministering all day and suggested to Jesus that He send the crowd away. Well we should have known Jesus wouldn’t send them away hungry. He looked at me and the other disciples and said, “You feed them.” That was quite an order. We didn’t know what to do. You ladies know what its like to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for the family. Well this wasn’t just one family; this was thousands of people. How in the world would we get enough food to feed all those people? The only thing we had to work with was five loaves of bread and two fish. I could have eaten that all by myself. Jesus had us sit everybody down in an orderly fashion. Then He prayed over those five loaves of bread and two fish. As He broke the bread and gave it to us it multiplied. As we broke it and gave it to the crowd it multiplied. I don’t know exactly how that happened; I just know it did. And we got to participate in the miracle. (5)
Well, there are many stories like that one that I could tell you. Actually there are some good books on the subject. One was written by a fellow named John Mark. Then there is the book of Matthew. And my good friend, the Apostle John wrote one. A doctor by the name of Luke wrote another one. There are all kinds of good stories in those books. I even wrote a couple of books. The titles are not real inspiring but they are great books. One is called 1st Peter and the other is called 2nd Peter. I don’t know if those will be available in the foyer after the service or not. Suffice it to say that we saw Jesus do some really awesome things.
One day we were over at Caesarea Philippi and Jesus asked us a question. “Whom do men say that I am?” Well we had heard all kinds of comments on that subject. Some people thought He was Elijah. King Herod in his paranoia thought Jesus was John the Baptist. A lot of people thought He was one of the prophets. But I knew who He was! Not just from what I had seen, although there had been plenty of objective evidence. But I knew in a deeper way than that. He was indeed the Christ, the Promised One, the Son of the Living God. When I said that, Jesus’ face lit up. He said, “Peter, flesh and blood didn’t reveal that to you. God showed you that. That’s the revelation upon which I will build my church. That truth is foundational to everything.” You can imagine how good I felt that day? (6)