Remember the women who went out to the tomb on the first Easter? They were on a mission. They had a job to do. They came prepared. But then somewhere along the way they became preoccupied with an obstacle. It was the stone. What would they do about the stone? Who would roll it back? Perhaps the guards would help. Perhaps the disciples would already be there. What would they do?
But when they arrived they found the stone already rolled away . . . and no guards! We can only imagine their surprise. We can only imagine how long they stood outside the tomb. But when they did enter the tomb their shock was magnified! Jesus was gone. All that remained were stained grave clothes and two young men in dazzling dress, whose words perplexed and amazed the women. "Why are you seeking the living among the dead? He is not here. He is risen." Stone rolled away, empty tomb, angels of God . . . and yet not until later would they grasp this greatest of truth, Jesus is alive!
Who will roll the stone away for us? Many times the women of the Easter story have been commended for acting out of love. But where was their faith? What did they expect? And after all that has been done, are we any different? For even today in the full revelation of Easter, are we not also preoccupied and perplexed with all kinds of worry and concern? As we approach the tombs of obstacle and challenge before us, do we like those women struggle and wonder what to do? We need to ask ourselves: Where is our joy and confidence in the Lord? Are you allowing the stones of doubt and worry to block God's joy for you? If so, who will roll away that stone?
Enter dear angels of God as you did that first Easter morn. We are invited to the place where Jesus was laid. We are invited to believe the very promise of God, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me will live even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die." "Remember how he told you while he was still with you in Galilee, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.'" While all the skeptics and foolish nonbelievers of the world call this the great deception of Christianity…to us it is the Gospel, God's power of salvation for the world.
Our Lord's promise is true; life is now ours in His name. Because Jesus lives, all our stones are rolled away too. For instance that stone that keeps us from the peace of God, that stone that keeps us from possessing Christian hope (not wishful thinking), that stone that keeps us from being free from the control of sin and the devil – in Christ all such stones are rolled away forever. We have the sure word and promise of our Savior to work in all things for the good of those who love Him. His victory is now our victory as well!
Dear friends the tomb is empty. Christ is risen! And that makes all the difference.Pastor Kelly Mitteis
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