Reformation Lutheran Church A Congregation of the ELCA

Read Mark 16: 1-8

When the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 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. (vv 2-4)


The stone is rolled away. The tomb is empty. Christ is risen! Alleluia!

Throughout this season, we have been reflecting on the Rock of Ages, Jesus Christ, and the many ways that he has provided and continues to provide a solid foundation for our lives. But today, the rock we encounter has a different purpose.

The stone in our reading was put in place to seal Jesus’ tomb. The Rock of Ages appears to have been destroyed on Friday, and placed in a tomb, with this giant stone separating him from the rest of the world. As the women journey to anoint Jesus, their biggest concern is this stone that blocks them from reaching the Lord. What will they do? Who will remove it?

Perhaps you feel like there is a “stone” keeping you from Jesus. Something you have said or done (or left unsaid or undone) that has you feeling sealed off from the love of God. Or maybe you feel you are trying to make your way to Jesus, but something is always in the way — something that prevents you from building the relationship with God you would like to have.

I have had — and continue to have — moments like that myself. Days when God feels far away, and I wonder what I need to do to fix that. How do I remove the stone?

It amazes me how many times you can read a passage from scripture and then suddenly hear it in a new way, with a new twist on the good news of the gospel. As I thought about this particular story in light of our “rock” theme, I was hit by the promise inferred by the experience of the women at the tomb. Their biggest concern on their journey was exactly that — who would remove the stone in front of the tomb? Who would help them reach Jesus?

But the stone had already been moved back. God had once again opened the door and made the way — not for the women to come to Jesus, but for Jesus to come to them. The same is true today. The Rock of Ages moves anything in his way to come to us. No stones — no matter how big and heavy — or even death can keep Jesus from reaching out to us and giving us life, hope and peace.

The stone is rolled away. The tomb is empty. Christ is risen and will meet you on the way!

The Rev. Kristin Neitzel Associate Pastor

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