By Jill Briscoe

On the very first Easter morning, some women hurried to the tomb, carrying the spices with which to anoint the body of their Lord. They asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

When we are in a new, frightening, surprising situation, we face the same problem. We would minister to a loved one perhaps, but a boulder lies in the way. Between us and that dear one a great barrier has appeared, one so big that our puny desires appear ludicrous beside it. Our love seems weak and ineffectual in the face of such an obstacle.

We would dive into this ministry, this package we never expected, but a boulder lies in the way, and we can’t possible imagine how to do it and function in this place.

“Love can’t find a way for me; I know, I’ve tried,” you say. Perhaps you face a hostile teenager fed up with being a minister’s kid and being moved around the country every three years or less. With your hands full of good things—sweet and special presents carefully prepared—you have hurried toward her, only to be confronted with that huge stone of anger, resentment, or misunderstanding.

Jesus’ friends must have experienced some of these same feelings. As the women hurried toward that insurmountable “mountain” of trouble that lay ahead of them, they couldn’t think of anyone in the whole world except Jesus Christ Himself Who had the power to roll that stone away; and that was their biggest dilemma—Jesus Christ was dead! They had every reason to believe He was lying there, sealed into ineffectiveness by the very stone they confronted.

The thing to do in the face of insurmountable problems is to walk right on up to them with every intention of walking right on through them, even if they show no signs of yielding as you approach. If you can’t walk through, walk around—find a way past to the Lord, who may or may not move the stone or intervene on your behalf. Somehow we need to live life with the attitude, “O love the Lord; my hands are full of gifts for Him; and one way or the other, I will find Him on the other side of the problem.” It’s certain that you’ll never arrive at the other side of your problem by running away from it; face it together with your partner and with any other believers you can find with the same heartbeat, the same vision. And don’t waste energy apportioning blame. If you do that, you’ll exhaust yourself before you ever get there!

The women hurried on that early morning toward that huge rock that separated them from the body of their beloved Christ. They were frightened, yes, but they kept going. They went anyway. Don’t wait until you are unafraid before you walk up to the sepulcher. If you can’t walk up to it unafraid, walk up to it afraid. And maybe, just maybe, when you get there, you will find that the stone has been rolled away.

Christ cannot be contained within the tombs of our troubles, inside the sepulchers of our sorrows, or behind the doors of our doubts. No stone can shut Him up or take Him away from His disciples. The stone still stood there in that quiet garden, a reminder of the reality of the problems we all must live with; but Christ had moved it to one side so very easily, demonstrating His resurrection power on our behalf.

You must face your personal Gethsemane and die at your Calvary. But all is not lost. Look toward your Pentecost, the power that will come. Rejoice, for “The stone has been rolled away!”

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