Read: Mark 16:1-20
Centering Verse: They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. (Mark 16:3-4)
- What does it say about the faith of the women that they were the first ones to go to the tomb?
- Why do you think the Eleven did not believe the first witnesses to Jesus’s resurrection?
- Read verses 17 and 18 again. What do you think these verses mean?
- How might you preach the good news within your context?
In his song, Jesus, Rich Mullins wrote these words: “Jesus, they drove the cold nails through your tired hands and rolled a stone to seal your grave. Feels like the devil’s rolled a stone onto my heart. Can you roll that stone away?” How often have you felt this way? You want to move forward, but there are deep sorrows and sins that block our way. We feel powerless against them. We are not alone in this. Imagine how Jesus’s followers felt in the days following his death. This chapter demonstrates the severe anguish the disciples were feeling. It took them several experiences of the risen Christ to fully believe and understand what had happened. We read about the women being terrified and astonished; the Eleven being incredulous and stubborn; and eventually, the followers awakening to the truth of the resurrection and sharing it with the world. They needed many stones rolled away from their hearts, souls, and minds before they could fully grasp this new reality. But just as he rolled the stone of the grave away, God faithfully rolled these stones of doubt and fear away. The resurrection was an act of healing, redemption, and restoration. The broken were made whole. And in a final act of grace, God employed these ordinary people with ordinary hang-ups and struggles within the extraordinary work of bringing God’s Kingdom to earth. When Jesus sets you free, he sets you free for a purpose. We are invited to follow Jesus out of the grave and into a full experience of life. What are you waiting for?
LORD God, who conquered sin and death, fill us with the power of your resurrection. May we bear faithful witness to your life within the world. Amen.