Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Rolling Away The Stone

Mary Magdalene was having a tough day.  She'd actually had a pretty rough weekend.  On Friday she observed and attended the execution of Jesus.  It would have been more horrifying for her than most.  Jesus had literally saved her life.  Before she met him, she was a demon possessed prostitute.  He changed all of that for her.  Mary believed in Him, followed Him and loved Him.  Watching Him suffer and die in the most brutal way would have been a nightmare.  She followed as they carried his body away from Calvary and placed it in a nearby tomb.  She was there when the large stone was rolled in place to seal the tomb.

Saturday was the Sabbath.  There was nothing to do except stay at home and grieve her loss, but early Sunday morning, Mary went at the first opportunity with spices to sweeten the smell at the grave.  When she arrived, the tomb was open and vacant.  When she turned around, she encountered the person she thought was the caretaker and asked him where he had taken the body of Jesus.  Imagine her shock, when the 'gardener' announced that He was Jesus.  He instructed her to go and tell his disciples that He was alive and to meet him in Galilee.  As you can imagine, Mary ran as fast as she could to tell the disciples.  When she got there, they didn't believe her.  Jesus himself appeared to two other followers who were walking down the road and they didn't believe he was alive either.  (I often wonder if He just did that for fun...)

I've been thinking about this all weekend.  Perhaps the greatest challenge on the first Easter was rolling away the stone of unbelief in the lives of those who loved Him most.  I'm not criticizing the disciples at all.  We all live with our own stones of unbelief.  For the disciples, accepting the truth of the resurrection cemented their confidence in everything that they had heard and seen to that point.  In the previous 3 1/2 years, they had seen Jesus heal the sick, deliver the possessed, open the eyes of the blind, walk on the water, calm the storm and many, many other miracles, but in the moment that the stone of unbelief was rolled away from their hearts, He became the Unstoppable Jesus.  They were convinced and within a generation had changed their world.

I'm convinced that Jesus remains unstoppable.  I'm also convinced that as the stone of unbelief is rolled back in our lives, anything can happen in us and through us. 


Danica Grunert said...

Happy Easter Pastor Tim. I missed you and Barb while you were here.

annie said...

just reading this now but so taken with your telling of how Mary may have felt and responded. And that unbelief is so common and easy for us to fall into. The Unstoppable Jesus - I like that - I love Him --- may He help my unbelief to be replaced with unstoppable faith.