“And he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you’” (Mark 16:6-7).
The Bible opens with God speaking and things happening. God creates, governs and sustains by his Word. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is introduced as one with authority unlike the scribes (Mark 1:22). From that point on the nature of his authority is progressively revealed. He has power and authority over sickness and infirmities, over the demonic realm, and over nature. He has authority to bring a dead girl back to life again and authority to forgive sins. His death tested the limits of his authority, but he was raised from the dead on the third day just as he had said. Jesus operates with nothing less than the authority of God himself.
As the women contemplated the dilemma of the stone blocking the entrance of the tomb, they soon faced an even greater dilemma: the tomb was open, Jesus was not in it, but instead there was an angel. The angel proclaimed Jesus as once crucified but now as having been raised from the dead. It was just as Jesus said.
Jesus said that his disciples would flee him and that Peter would deny him (Mark 14:27, 30). He said he would be killed and that after three days he would rise again (Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34). All these have taken place. But Jesus also said that after he rose he would go before his disciples to Galilee (Mark 14:28). Galilee is not simply a point of rendezvous; it signaled restoration for the disciples whose resolve would like wax in the fires of temptation.
It is no doubt they needed this reminder. The angel even singles out Peter. “He is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you”
Jesus’ resurrection from the dead incorporates his authority, his triumph over sin and Satan and death, and puts a stamp of trustworthiness on his mission. Even in the face of his own death he is able to speak and bring it to pass, “just as he told you.” He told the disciples about their failure and he told them of the coming reunion even before they failed. It would be just as he told them.
Does it amaze you that Jesus anticipates the disciples’ failure and restoration? He knew it would be severe, but he also knew it wouldn’t be determinative for any of them except Judas. Peter’s curse-invoking denial would not be too much for Jesus to bear or forgive. Can you and I accept that Jesus anticipates our sin and failure and promises that nothing would separate us from his love (Romans 8:38-39)? He does. Just like the disciples, Christ’ perfect work will be, “just as he told you.” May we cherish the trustworthiness of our resurrected Savior.