Rolling the Stone Away

When the two Marys went to the tomb that first Easter morning, the last thing they expected was to find it empty. After all, they had just witnessed Jesus crucified, along with most of their dreams. Now duty-bound, they came to prepare his body for burial.

That day they did not come to receive, they came to give. and there is no nobler human aspiration. Service prompted by duty is the hallmark of true discipleship. That is why God calls to love, expecting nothing in return: to give to those who will never thank us; to forgive those who refuse to reciprocate.

As God watched these two woman walking to the tomb that early morning, he had a surprise in store for them. The Bible says that the angel, who ‘went to the tomb, and rolled the stone away,’ said, ‘Come…see the place where his body was’. The angel did not move the stone so that Jesus could get out. The one who conquered death can certainly move a rock. No, he moved the stone so that the woman could look in and rejoice. Why? Because God honours faithfulness: When she was long past childbearing, Sarah believed God and became the mother of nations; when his failure was overwhelming and public, David repented and was pardoned and restored; when the road was darkest for the two Marys, an angel showed up and resurrected their hopes.

If today, or any time in the future, your way seems full of sadness, even despair; if it seems that everything you had hoped and dreamed of is turning into dust before your eyes; when things seem hopeless – don’t get discouraged and don’t give up. The answer is on the way. God always honours faithfulness, and when necessary , he even sends angels. You may not get the answer you had expected, or the solution you have prayed for – but god heeds your prayers and will be faithful to you – and you can trust him to know what and when is best.

This has become ever clearer in our area over the past few years through prayer we saw new ‘things’ starting to happen, new avenues starting to spring open. When we took our minds off prayer these avenues began to narrow and ‘things’ appeared to stop happening. So we re-committed to prayer and the spirit has begun to move in wonderfully surprising ways again, surely this is God being faithful to us because he sees us being faithful to him. So let us continue in our commitment to prayer, not because we seek any reward, but because God calls us to love and to give to those who will never thank us and to forgive those who refuse to reciprocate.