Who will roll away the stone?

Often, our most difficult moments are reduced to the simplest of questions;

what will we do next?”

such simplicity flies in the face of our troubles – lives torn apart, future uncertain, hopes dashed

yet when those questions are too big – too overwhelming – we concentrate on the necessities,

the next breath – the next step.

Rather than trying to rebuild in the midst of the wreckage,

we look for the simplest way to clear the building site – but,

who will roll away the stone?

We are praised for our willingness to forge ahead,

whatever the obstacles.

We counsel one another to “keep on living – to get back to business”

as the best remedy for a multitude of tragic circumstances.

But to everyone there comes a time when the load is just too heavy.

There is no way around, over or through.

When that time comes, are we any more able

to hear words of grace, or to notice that the weight has just been lifted?

Who will roll away the stone?

That was the pressing question,

among the many questions of these friends of Jesus.

The stone was heavy, and given the circumstances surrounding Jesus death,

they had every right, as friends of a convicted trouble-maker,

to expect trouble with the authorities.

Their day was full of trouble, and the sun was barely risen.

Imagine the surprise – the terror –

on finding the tomb standing open…

their only fear replaced by the unspeakable;

what more could the authorities do than kill Jesus?

Who would have opened the grave?

An open tomb is not a comforting sight

when your mind is clouded with grief.

Mark’s gospel does not let those clouds disperse.

The women maintain their fear and amazement.

The spices are forgotten,

for the young man in white has given them new questions to ponder;

the gospel concludes in silence and fear – but that fear cannot last.

The open grave has become, in this moment, the entrance to life.

The miracle of Easter is not that the tomb is empty,

not that the women meet what must surely be an angel,

nor is the miracle simply that Jesus is risen.

The miracle of Easter is that our every question – our every difficulty

is met with a single response;

The stone has been rolled away.

It was a task we could not manage, and yet it has been accomplished.

God has lifted the weight from us – done all the heavy work

and left us to wonder what comes next.

We want to see Jesus – to find that proof which will settle our racing hearts

and clear our clouded minds – and we will,

but the miracle of Easter is in that freedom of spirit we find

when we discover that our most difficult and worrying obstacles

have been effortlessly shifted in the night

and that our way ahead is now clear.

What we could not imagine – the one thing that stood in our way

is no longer an issue.

Death itself has lost its power over us;

God has sent an unmistakeable message.

The tomb is open and empty;

our teacher – our saviour waits ahead for us.

He is not here, he is risen, just as he said.

Alleluia – Alleluia – Amen.


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