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Summary: God will roll away the stones in our lives just as he did for the women; we just have to ask.

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FLEEING THE TOMB

Mark 16:1-8

If we walked into what the women walked into that early Sunday morning, my guess is that we all would have been tempted to flee the tomb, too.

But when you hang around with Jesus, you must be prepared to be seized by fear and amazement, because that’s just who he is.

Yet, how does one prepare for such a combination of emotions—they are so far apart—fear and amazement.

Then again, perhaps these emotions are not so distant from each other. Sometimes extreme opposites are actually quite closely related.

Amazement, in the extreme sense, is delightful yet a little fear-provoking as well…But how? How can something be so purely and absolutely wonderful, like Resurrection from the dead, and still very frightening at the same time?

We start to wonder: What’s behind this amazing and terrifying experience? Who is pulling the strings, pushing the buttons, pressing the levers? We can’t be tricked. We know that the Great and Powerful Oz, after all, was just a short, white-haired elderly man behind an emerald green curtain.

And how many people stereotypically picture God as an elderly white-haired man and by magic makes things happen? God pulled a lever and made the stone roll away from the tomb… so Jesus could get out, right?

Well, not quite right. God didn’t roll the stone away from the tomb so Jesus could get out…God rolled the stone away so that the women could get in! So they could see that Jesus was not there; that he had risen, just as he said he would.

A God who can reconcile the world to himself…

A God who can conquer all sin and death…

A God who can sacrifice his own Son for the love of the world…

Doesn’t have any trouble with rolling a stone! But we do. We can’t move the rock without God’s help. The rock that keeps our unbelief blocked inside us—the rock that won’t allow the power and majesty, the fear and amazement, of a great and powerful God come inside us, unless we ask the Lord to move it for us. God will roll away the stone for us just as God did for the women.

Rejoice and be exceedingly glad. The stone is rolled away, we are seized by the Lord. Jesus, our Christ, is a risen Savior. Because he lives, we also shall live. Let us arise with amazement at the Son’s rising this Easter morning to give our lives to the Resurrected One, Christ the Lord, who is Risen today!

April 8, 2007

Easter Sunrise Service

Spring Hill, South Berwick, Maine

The Reverend Donna Lee Muise


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