Things had begun to get dicey. Fame’s two sided coin’s darker side threatened. Not everyone was a fan of Jesus nor of those who claimed to be His followers.
Jesus laid out coming events, preparing them. His heart to heart talks revealed details of betrayal, scourging, and killing. He explained to His disciples what would happen.
“After three days I will rise,” Jesus said.
Maybe the whole situation weighed too heavy. Maybe the disciples didn’t get it because at that moment they couldn’t handle it. Maybe they didn’t really want to, as if a huge stone rolled across their minds and hearts keeping them from understanding.
Perhaps God waited until He was ready for them to see events backward rather than forward, a more complete picture. He does that sometimes.
Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” watched Joseph tenderly lay Jesus’s body inside. The stone grated against the gaping darkness inside. That stone, poignant and final sealed the tomb shut.
With Christ’s body buried, wrapped in linen, his disciples torn by grief and fear seemed unaware the greatest event of history was about to take place. They apparently forgot Jesus’ words, lost in the thick soupy fog of pain and sorrow.
Early on the first day of the week a group of women walked to the tomb. They carried spices to anoint His body as a final act of loyalty and love. The Jewish custom helped preserve the body after death and off-set the smell of decay.
But the women forgot the huge stone that sealed Jesus’ body inside and them outside. On the way, as they talked together they remembered the giant stone.
“Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” they questioned.
Sometimes life is like that big stone. It seems too big, too heavy and its rolled up circumstances feel like a huge boulder blocking us from Jesus, locking us inside a dark and hopeless place.
Hundreds of years before, King David, prefigure of the coming King of Kings, said, “Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” Ps. 37:5 (NKJV)
That word “commit” means “to roll off on to” to “roll away,” like lumpy sacks of burdens rolling down a hill, picking up speed as they go. The verse instructs us to roll our cares on to the CareTaker. It’s too heavy for us. But, we can trust Him to carry what we cannot.
He will “attend” to it.
“But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large.” (Mark 16:3 NKJV).
Heavy stones pose no obstacle to One Who conquers death. Jesus burst forth in marvelous victory from the very bowels of despair.
And when they arrived at the tomb, a young man sat on the stone. Clothed in long white robes, he proclaimed, “He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.”
Can you imagine how the hearts of those women must have pounded as they pressed forward into the darkness? That huge stone removed was a powerful testimony of life for those who stepped inside. For in the place where Jesus should have been were only His burial cloths. Folded and set apart.
From inside a tomb of darkness came the light of eternal hope.
Sometimes I wonder how I will manage weights and cares I cannot move on my own. Sometimes I think things are too hard, too heavy.
I love the Easter season. It’s a reminder of life. It springs forth through nature and offers promise of something better ahead. It is triumphant and victorious all at once. It lifts my eyes from the big heavy stone to my Resurrected Savior.
Resurrection reminds me, there is no heaviness too great for Him, no darkness too black.
“Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him…”
Roll it on Him. He will attend to it.
When I wonder, “Who will remove this heavy circumstance?”
When I think, “How will I manage?”
When I worry, “It is too hard.”
Then I must remember God is still in the business of moving the impossible. The greatness of Christ’s triumph moves in the smallest details of my life. He will “attend” to it.
“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!” Luke 24:5-6 (NKJV)
Such glorious words, what glorious truth.
He is alive. Hope still beckons us from an empty tomb.