Moving Stones

bunch of stones
“And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. 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.’” Mark 16:4-6
 
In an episode of the TV show Friends, the mother of Ross and Rachel hears a number of surprising and disturbing things about her daughter and son. When they get done telling on each other, she holds up her hand and says, “That’s a lot of information to get in thirty seconds.” In half a minute, her world had been turned upside down.

The women at the tomb on Easter likely felt that way even more. They took in a lot of information in thirty seconds at the empty tomb that morning. They came expecting a stone guarding a tomb which held their beloved teacher, Jesus. But in half a minute, think of all that they learned instead.

The stone, which had been their biggest worry, was rolled aside, completely out of their way. But they had no time to ask how or who did that, because immediately there is an angel, called a young man, but clearly no ordinary man. He has to assure them not to be afraid. But there was still one more surprise. The tomb is empty! If it was surprising to see what was new, it was the absence of the old that was the most striking. Stones can be moved and angels might come. But now the dead are alive.

That’s a lot of information to take in. I wonder if we don’t sometimes focus on the seemingly immovable stones of our lives. We wonder if the stones, the barriers, the symbols of hurt and loss, are ever going to move. We can focus on them so much that we might miss the real news. The stones are going to move. The grave stone that really mattered already moved on Easter. That stone was the first but it has started an avalanche of grave stones. All the stones over all our graves are going to move, cast aside by the resurrection. It started here in these few seconds. Let’s live by faith that all this was true—the stone moved, the angel came and Jesus has risen. That’s a lot to take in, but it’s the one message that we really need.

Prayer: Our Heavenly Father, thank you that you have given us the message we need. The stone of Jesus’ grave has gone, the angel has spoken and Jesus lives. Help us to take that news in every day and to live in certain faith through it.  We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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