Acts 10:34a, 37-43
…the stone had been rolled away.
It’s Easter Sunday! He is Risen!!
As soon as the stone is rolled away, the resurrection of Christ is made known to man! Easter has begun – yet no one alive at that moment knows this pivotal fact; that at this precise moment, salvation for all mankind has been won. On this morning, those who knew and loved Jesus were still in shock at what they had witnessed.
It is gruelling for us to begin to imagine the depth of despair that His disciples felt on that Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Guilt, culpability, shame, remorse, brokenheartedness, anger, and perhaps resentment. And those feelings would continue. Then, seeing or hearing that the tomb was empty, those emotions of despair were mixed with confusion.
How would we have reacted? What would we have been thinking?
Would we have been with Mary of Magdala, running to the tomb to just be near his broken body?
With Mary, his mother, consoling her broken heart, and our own?
With Peter, desolate in having denied knowing Him, and then running away from him at the moment Jesus was most alone?
With Matthew, Andrew or James, sitting, pacing, wondering what is next, not being sure how to feel, what to do or where to go?
With John, the follower whom Jesus loved, possibly with hope still beating in his chest?
The favour of the Lord covers us today because we do know about the empty tomb, and what it means. We are not second guessing WHO this Jesus Christ ‘really’ is/was. The stone has been rolled way – we know the truth. We know the truth of WHO He is, but I wonder, do we know the truth of who we are IN Christ? What stones do we need to ‘roll away’ so that we can fully know the truth about our Lord and Saviour? The stones that keep us in the tomb of lies, conceit, greed; the tomb of our flesh, the tomb of darkenss? And how and where can we find the strength to move these stones?
There was a teenage boy out walking with his dad in the woods one day. The young man had been regularly working out all summer lifting weights. He had become strong and was quite proud of his strength. As they walked, his father pointed to a fairly large stone and said, “Son, can you lift that stone?” He flexed his muscles. Yes, he was strong enough! Feeling quite proud of his strength, he began picking up bigger and bigger stones and lifting them above his head. His father then pointed to a large rock and said, “Son, I want you to try with all your resources to move that stone.” “Dad, that’s too big, look at it, it’s a boulder.” His dad encouraged him, “Son, I think you can move it if you use all your resources, I really do.” Again, his son tried, but it wouldn’t budge. “I can’t.” His father said, “I don’t think you used all your resources, son. Try again.” He failed again. And again. And again. Out of breath, with tears in his eyes, the young man said, “Dad, I tried, I really tried, I can’t, I’m not strong enough.” And his dad said, ‘Son, I’m right here, I would have helped, together we could have moved that stone, but you never asked…”
Once the stone was rolled away, the disciples, with the strength of God, endured decades of hardships to bring the Good News to all. They chose to follow the risen Christ, to leave the darkness of their tomb and spread LOVE, MERCY, FORGIVENESS and the WORDS of ETERNAL LIFE that Jesus gave them. Are we not called to do the same?
With God, all things are possible – that is the daily gift of Easter to each of us. With Him, we are strong enough. We can move stones, we can move mountains. Let us ask Him to help us move the stones that are keeping us in the darkness of sin so that we too, can walk out of the tomb and fully live with Him in the LIGHT.
(Today’s Oxygen by Gina Ulicny)
Prayer: Father God, we ask for your strength to move the stones in our lives. We know that we can’t do anything on our own. We know that every minute of our life needs you, front and center. We ask that you put people and things around us constantly so that we will never forget to turn to you and ask for your help. Over and over again, we know that you never tire of helping us. We ask that you help us to live and share daily the joy of Easter Sunday.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Father God, for Easter Sunday! Thank you for your Son, for the joy, the light and the salvation that Christ gives us. We rejoice with all the angels and saints in heaven and desire to walk in your light, on the way to joining you for all eternity.