Usually when we think of new beginnings and fresh starts in terms of the calendar we think of New Year’s. It’s as good a time as any to begin again. But to me, Easter represents this more than any other day.
The Easter holiday ushers in springtime. A season of renewal and new life. Trees come to life, the grass becomes green, and flowers bloom in the garden.
How appropriate then that it was in the garden Jesus was arrested. It is here we catch a glimpse of the new hope and second chances Christ was about to offer.
Peter, in his impetuous ways, sliced off the ear of one of those sent to arrest Jesus. With that act, Peter condemned himself. Scores of government officials could testify as witnesses that Peter attempted murder. Along with Jesus, he would be arrested, tried, and sentenced for his crime. The only difference was Peter was guilty.
Guilty that is until Jesus picked up the bloody ear and placed back in perfect position where it belongs.
I can see it now–once taken to court the judge asks Peter’s accusers ”Where is your evidence?”
“Here is Malchus, the one whose ear Peter cut off with his sword,” will come their reply.
“You mean this man with two ears?” Silent glances are exchanged between the accusers. “Is there any other evidence?”
“Other evidence? Oh, yes! Look for the blood. It must be somewhere.”
Inspecting the accused the judge concludes “There is no blood on Malchus. Nor is there any on Peter. The only blood I see is on the hand of Jesus.”
With jaws dropped to the ground, the accusers have nothing more to say.
Looking at Peter the judge pronounces his verdict. “Peter, you are free to go.”
That night in the garden, Jesus took a guilty man and made him innocent. There was no evidence to convict him. It was as if the incident had never happened. Peter was made innocent before he could even be accused.
Jesus did the same for us. Over the next few days after his arrest, he gave us the opportunity to erase all the crimes we have committed. Not just get us off the hook, but actually make us innocent. The only evidence left would be the blood on Jesus.
Christian, on this day after Easter know this–you are innocent. There is no evidence against you. So don’t let the sins of the past haunt you because through Jesus, you’ve never committed a crime. You are free to make a fresh start.
Live The Mission,