Who Will Roll Away the Stone?
Bible Lesson: Mark 16:1-8
Theme Verses: Vs. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.”
It was early Sunday morning when three prominent women went to the tomb with some spices to balm the dead body of Jesus. The struggle in their mind was who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for them. In their wildest dream they never even imagined that the tomb will be empty. When they went inside the tomb they saw an angel wearing a white robe and he gave them good news that Jesus has been raised from the dead. In fact angel questioned them: ‘Why do you seek the living among the dead? (Luke 24:5).’ With great amazement they left the place. The message of resurrection gives hope and assurance to the whole creation of God. The good news of the gospel is that Christ died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3), and that He rose again (v.4).
Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a central doctrine of Christianity that affirms that God raised Jesus from the dead on the third day. But there are many people who are still unaware about the purpose and the significance of Jesus’ resurrection because they don’t take Jesus’ words seriously. Indeed it’s a matter of great amazement that in spite of Jesus’ clear predicted about His death and resurrection as recorded in four gospels (Matt. 16:21; 17:22-23; 20:17-19; Mark 8:31; 9:9; 9:31; 10:33-34; 14:28; Luke 9:22; 18: 33; John 2: 18-22; 10:17-18) even His disciples, family members and followers took it casually. On the other hand chief priests and the Pharisees remembered Jesus’ words that ‘after three days I will rise’ and they requested Pilate to secure the tomb for three days (Matt. 27:62). Many people doubt about Jesus’ resurrection as well as the resurrection of the dead i.e. life after death. It is important to take every words of Jesus seriously. In the midst of doubt and confusion Jesus proved Himself that His words were real and true by revealing Himself to all after the resurrection.
When the angel said, ‘He is risen’ it meant that Jesus has conquered death and it also indicates that an act of God is accomplished. On the cross Jesus destroyed the power of sin and curse but in tomb He conquered over the power of death forever. For this Paul gives thanks to God who gives us the victory through Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinth. 15: 57) Common people think that death is the most powerful enemy but we should not forget that Jesus is above all powers. He said ‘I am the resurrection and the life’ (Jn. 11:25). Even before His resurrection power of death couldn’t stand before Him. In John 5:25 Jesus said, ‘the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.’ As a young man, D. L. Moody was called upon suddenly to preach a funeral sermon. He hunted all through the four Gospels trying to find one of Christ’s funeral sermons, but searched in vain. He found that Christ broke up every funeral He ever attended. He raised Lazarus, Jairus daughter and son of the widow of Nain. Death could not exist where He was. When the dead heard His voice they sprang to life.
Believers are expected to go and tell this good news. It is important for all Christians to share the purpose of resurrection. Resurrection gives hope that one day the whole creation which is groaning will be liberated by the appearance of God’s children as mentioned by Paul in Romans 8. In Christ, we are brand new creation if we believe that there is a life after death. A time will come when the dead will be raised at the time of resurrection. The resurrection shows the pattern of our future glorification. In John 5:28-29, Jesus said: ‘Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.’ The Second Coming of Jesus is very soon. Jesus has already prophesied about it and we have to take His words seriously. In Christ we live now in the radiance of everlasting life. Finally, at the name of Christ, every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord.
Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia! Charles Wesley