ROLL AWAY THE STONE
Loving Father, I bring You my fears now. Comfort me today.
Read Mark 15:42–16:8
The Burial of Jesus
42 It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. 45 When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. 46 So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.
Jesus Has Risen
16 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.[a]
a. Mark 16:8 Some manuscripts have the following ending between verses 8 and 9, and one manuscript has it after verse 8 (omitting verses 9-20): Then they quickly reported all these instructions to those around Peter. After this, Jesus himself also sent out through them from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation. Amen.
ReflectWhen has God pleasantly or strikingly surprised you?
Have you ever been surprised by someone on the other side of a suddenly opening door? Welcome to the world of these women: the unexpected had happened. There was a body, but not the one they came for! Then came absolute astonishment with this announcement, ‘Don’t be alarmed … He has risen! He is not here’ (6). The angel continues, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you’ (7).
Here we have a parallel to Gabriel’s visit to Mary, Jesus’ mother. He said, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary’ (Luke 1:30), before telling her she would be the mother of the Son of God. This took place in Galilee. The story has travelled from human life in Galilee, to death, to risen life to be witnessed in Galilee where it began. Jesus’ message is: ‘Do not be afraid for I am with you from the start of life, to death, to new life,’ beginning and continuing with the same person – Jesus Christ the Lord.
Joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5). No matter what dark time we may experience, God always brings light and life even in the midst of the darkness. Take time to praise God for His goodness today.
Lord, You have shown us that the whole of life is in Your hands. Help me to trust in You that we too, by faith, will live… eternally.