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Who will roll away the stone?

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Austen C. Ukachi

On this resurrection Sunday, we are compelled to suspend our series on The Call of God, so as to focus on the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Like we all know, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the bedrock of the Christian faith. The resurrection of Jesus is what distinguishes Christianity from other religions.

Our focus this Easter morning will be on the question that agitated the minds of the women who went on Easter Sunday with Mary to the tomb, where Jesus was buried. These women carried with them precious ointment, which they wanted to shower on Jesus as a mark of their love and care. As they went to the tomb, they intoned, “Who will roll away the stone?” The tomb of Jesus was covered with a large stone, which slipped into a groove cut in the bedrock of the entrance of the tomb. It was easy to cover the tomb, but difficult to uncover it. Therefore, the anxiety of the women, as they headed to the tomb was understandable. Though mentally and spiritually strong, women are not known to be muscular as men who could with much effort roll away any stone. Alas, when these women got to the tomb, to their amazement, the stone had been rolled away.

Matthew captures the account of what happened on resurrection day at the tomb where Jesus laid. It states that, “And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended, and came and rolled back the stone from the door and sat on it. His countenance was like lightening, and his clothing as white as snow” (Mt.28: 2-3). This account reports that the angel of the Lord rolled away the stone that covered the tomb. As if to show his awesome strength, the angel sat upon the stone after rolling it away. Thus, when the women looked, they saw that the stone had been rolled away. That is, the concerns of the women were taken care of by God, even before they got to the tomb.

This incident leaves a symbolic message for everyone of us this Easter Sunday. This year’s Easter has come against the background of great suffering, worry and anxiety in the land, occasioned by the economic recession, insecurity, unemployment, social and economy problems in general. A string of endless questions arise in many hearts across the nation: who will help bear our burden? Who will provide for us? Who will pay our bills? Who will take care of our families, etc.? Politicians who promised to help alleviate the burdens of the people have failed to do so.

Many of us today are like these women. We worry over many things that we should hand over to God. We need to know that at resurrection, Jesus “rolled away” many problems of life that we need not bother about. We stress ourselves too much over things, some of which do not exist. Peter’s advice to us is to learn how to cast all our anxieties and cares upon Jesus, for He cares for us (1 Pet.5: 7). Also, the Bible encourages us to “be anxious over nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Phil.4: 6).

When Jesus rose from the dead, nothing less than three times He said to His disciples, “Peace be with you” (John 20:19-26). Those words are for us. We need to receive His peace in the midst of the present storms of life. Contact: pastoracukachi@gmail.com



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