Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed

John 20:3-8

This scripture is an interesting one. To provide some background, Mary Magdalene had found Jesus’ body missing in the tomb where he was put after being crucified. She went to Peter and John (who is the author of this text and doesn’t use his name when he mentions himself) and they ran to the tomb. John actually outran Peter but didn’t go in the tomb when he arrived. Instead, Peter got there after him but went into the empty tomb. Then, John followed Peter in.

There are a few important points I want to make. The first one is that John outran Peter, meaning he made it there first. But he didn’t go in. John finished first what he was trying to do, but stopped short of witnessing the miracle first. I wonder if John regretted that, thus why he included that detail in his account of this story. Because he knew he could have gone in but didn’t, that he missed out and wanted to share that moment as a lesson. Maybe it was fear that stopped him, fear of the unknown, fear of what was inside that tomb, fear of being the first one in. Who knows what stopped John but let it be a lesson to us all of not allowing fear or doubt to get in the way of us experiencing a miracle and also being the first one into something that God is doing.

Another point I want to make is how Peter got there second. He didn’t get there first, but he was able to go further than what John was able to do. He didn’t allow the fear and doubt to stop him when he got to the tomb. He pushed through and actually took what could have been John’s—the first experience in the resurrected tomb. He pushed past what others saw as limits, or even impossibilities. I hope that help us know that even when we see others stopping, others holding off or giving up, we can press forward in where God wants us. 

And finally, as I look at this story, I wonder—who did God intend to be in the first in the tomb? I wonder if it really was always supposed to be Peter, Jesus’ right hand man, the one in which He built his church upon. That God had that position specifically for him. Maybe God set the whole thing up for it to be Peter. Maybe there was something there for Peter in that moment. Maybe it was because Peter was always meant to be the first witness of the empty tomb. God’s purposes and His plans always play out on the earth, whether we are aware of them or not and this story is no exception. There was a preset purpose to this all and Peter did not miss out, even if he was outrun and got there second. I hope that encourages you to realize, what God has for you, is for you. You may think you are behind, that others are getting somewhere first, but take heart! Because God has a bigger plan where you will receive the miracle He has planned for you.

So friends, let us not be held back by fear, let us not give into limitations of who God is and let us press forward into receiving what God has destined for us. Because what God has for you, is for you and no circumstance or human can get in the way of that. He has destiny for you and while it may seem like its not playing out, others may be getting there first—there something perfect there for you. Maybe something as perfect as an empty tomb and the resurrected Jesus that is on the other side.

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