THE STONE IS ROLLED AWAY
The resurrection morning narrative in Mark tells us about how the women who went to the
tomb overcame their biggest fear and worry. As they arose at sunrise to go and anoint Jesus’
body, they had a clear purpose to fulfil. Yet, there was great obstacle that could impair their
ability to fulfil their purpose – the huge stone that had been rolled over the tomb of Jesus. They
presumed not to have the strength to roll away such a huge stone. Yet they did not turn back,
they kept going. As they approached the tomb, they saw that the huge stone had been rolled
away. The obstacle was gone, and it was easy to fulfil their purpose – to anoint Jesus’ body.
Yet God had a higher purpose. The angel did not roll the stone away for Jesus to come out of
the tomb; nor was it for the women to fulfil their purpose of anointing the body of a dead
saviour. Jesus had already risen. The angel rolled the stone away for Mary and the other women
to go in and witness that Jesus had indeed risen. The angel rolled the stone away for all others
to go in and witness that Jesus is not dead but alive. The stone was rolled away so that we could
celebrate the risen Christ in our lives and share in his victory.
We could see COVID-19 as a huge stone rolled against the world which has impeded our lives
and restricted our freedom. COVID-19 has brought with it the stone of multiple health failures;
the stone of unemployment, the stone of emotional, mental, and physical stress; and finally, the
stone of death and bereavement. Who will roll the stone away for us?
The power that raised Jesus from the dead, the power that rolled the stone away for us to witness
his resurrection, the power that delivered life to the dead, God’s Holy Spirit, has roll that stone
away, and set us free. As we join the women at sunrise to visit Jesus’s tomb; as we share in
their joy of knowing that the stone has been rolled away; as we celebrate the risen Christ; may
the stone of COVID-19 and every stone of fear and death be rolled away in the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ.