Who will roll the stone away

“Who will roll the stone away?”

God has the answers for all the difficult questions in life.

Timothy J. Spaude

Their hearts were broken. Jesus was dead. They faced tragedy or loss as we often do. They decided to do something. Do anything.

Mark tells us that when the Sabbath was over (6 P.M. on Saturday) Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices to prepare Jesus’ body for burial. Just after sunrise they hurried to Jesus’ tomb. But on the way they experienced one of those “oops” moments. “Who will roll the stone away?” they asked each other.

Good question. The typical tomb for a wealthy man like Joseph of Arimathea was hollowed out of rock. A large, round, quarried stone several inches thick and four to five feet in diameter was positioned near the entrance. Then the heavy stone was rolled over the entrance. The women needed more help to open the tomb than they brought. “Who will roll the stone away?” Good question.

   God answer! When they got to the tomb, the stone had already been rolled away, but not by any manpower. It was God power. An angel of the Lord had rolled the stone away. All their worries and concerns over the problem of the stone had been needless. God had things under control. Their tears and sadness, doubts and fears had been needless too. Jesus was not dead! “He is risen, just as he said,” the angel told them. God’s answer to their good question was more than they could have imagined or hoped for.

That same God is active in our lives too. Easter gives us an opportunity each year to revisit the empty tomb and be reminded of the power of God, who is able to do more than we can ask or imagine. We have our own good questions that come from trying times. “How will I go on without him?” the grieving widow asks. Good question. Death hurts. God answer! “You won’t live without me. I will be with you and provide you with what you need to go on until you see me and him again.”

“What’s going on in our world? Where will it end?” Good question. Morality disappears. Division and lawlessness grow. It seems we are spiraling out of control. God answer! “I am in control. I have been raising up and tearing down countries for thousands of years to advance the plan of salvation. This too fits in my plan.”

“How will we make it?” the Christian couple asks after a downsizing leaves the breadwinner jobless. Good question. There are bills to pay. God answer!“Don’t worry. Look at the birds in the air and the lilies in the field. I take care of them and I take care of you. Sometimes I hide behind jobs. Sometimes I hide behind other means of income. When you pray for daily bread, I provide.”

We don’t know exactly how God will take care of our dilemmas any more than the women on Easter morning did. But did you notice something? The women kept going! Look how God worked that out!

I wonder if the women learned from their experience. The next time they faced a dilemma, did they smile to themselves? Did they remember that when they are facing something out of their control they can count on the God of Easter to fix their problem in just the right way?

Will we learn? Will we learn from the God who sacrificed his Son for us? We can. Live each day with Easter in mind.

Who will roll the stone away? God will, of course. Jesus lives!

Timothy Spaude is pastor at St. Jacobi, Greenfield, Wisconsin.

 

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Author: Timothy J. Spaude
Volume 102, Number 4
Issue: April 2015

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