“Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.”
Mark 16:2–4 (NIV)
Just before sunrise a small group of women is getting ready to depart on a sorrowful mission. Perhaps they are distributing among themselves the spices that each of them is to carry to the tomb where Jesus’s dead body was laid. On their way, many speculations are no doubt being offered. What’s the meaning of this strange season? After three years of nonstop excitement and hopeful imagination, what’s to happen now?
While these three sisters are walking and talking, and no doubt mourning and lamenting, the question arises among them, “Who will remove the huge stone that covers the mouth of the tomb? We can’t possibly do it.” Over the last several days, the disciples and supporters of Jesus have scattered. They are hiding in fear for their own safety. So the question is valid: who will be able to roll that stone away for us?
Remarkably, they make the collective decision to keep on walking. Faith in Jesus—commitment to a mission that is for His glory and in obedience to His word—is powerful. When the answer to the obstacle had not yet been provided, these women continued to walk.
Perhaps you know the feeling: despite what appears to be insurmountable, you still feel like the best response is to simply keep going, to move forward in faith. And they did. Upon arriving to the tomb, these women discovered the value in deciding to keep going no matter what. The stone had been rolled away.
The Gospel of Mark says, “As they entered in…” There’s no record that there was any hesitation about the stone being out of place. There was no thought to the danger and controversy that had so recently surrounded Jesus’s life. Not one of them is reported to have said, “You know, maybe we ought not go in that tomb.”
They are so Christ-loyal, so duty-fueled, so spiritually focused that without hesitation, they just enter in, despite the evidence that something is not right—things are not as they should be. They were expecting to see one thing: Jesus’s dead corpse wrapped in linen cloths. But once they entered in, their expectations were met by a surprise. They were invited to discover that a resurrection had taken place.”
Their faith had been rewarded.