Summary: The rolling away of the stone as a symbol of Christ removing obstacles in our lives.
-Good morning and welcome!
-As you know, today is a very special day in the life of the church.
-Today as we gather, we celebrate our RISEN LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST!
-Today is the culmination of what the Church refers to as Holy Week, beginning with Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem that we learned about last week.
-Which led up to his arrest and crucifixion, which we learned about Friday night.
-As we ended on Friday night, we were left with the image of Jesus laying in the tomb surrounded by dejected and confused disciples.
-And as we left, I left those who were with us with the message that-that was where the story ended for Friday, but that was not the end of the story.
-We have a luxury that the disciples did not have the day that Jesus was crucified.
-We have the luxury of being able to look at the story from a different perspective.
-We understand this morning that Friday was a horrible day, but Sunday came.
-Sunday came and Jesus Christ rose, just as he had promised to do.
-But these disciples didn’t have that assurance. On Friday and Saturday, they were confused. They didn’t know what to do. All of their hopes and dreams had died with Jesus. Not only that but they were associated with this Jesus, who was an outlaw.
They were afraid to even be seen in public.
-So, they were as low as low could get.
-And I believe that there are many times in our own lives that we end up in that same situation.
-We are brought as low as we can go and do not know which direction to go or which way to turn.
-Some may be here this morning and this describes where you are at today.
-However, Easter is a celebration of HOPE and when you leave here this morning, if you take nothing else with you take this.
-You CAN place your hope in Jesus Christ.
-You CAN place your faith in Jesus Christ.
-Because Jesus both fulfilled and fulfills his promises, which is what we are going to read about this morning in Mark 16.
-So, if you have found Mark 16 in your Bible, I’d invite you to stand with me as we read the first 8 verses on the subject of Who Shall Roll the Stone Away?
-Mark writes . . .
II. Scripture Focus
Mark 16:1–8 NIV - Anglicised
1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ” 8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
III. The Sabbath is Over
-We pick up here in the Gospel according to Mark right after the end of the Sabbath.
-The way the Jewish calendar works is that Jesus was crucified on a Friday and the Sabbath began that evening at sundown and ended the following day at sundown (Saturday).
-And as the sun went down over the hills, the new day (Sunday) began, marking not only a new day but also a new week.
-So, after sunset that Saturday evening, the women who had witnessed Jesus’ death, went and bought spices to prepare Jesus’ body for burial the next morning.
-The custom was that in those days, when a person died, unless they were Egyptian or had lots of money and not Jewish, they were typically not embalmed, but rather their bodies were covered in spices and perfumes, they were wrapped in grave clothes, that were also covered in spices. Their bodies were placed in a tomb, which was then sealed with a large stone to keep animals out. Then after about a year, the family would return to the tomb and take the bones that were left and place them in a small box and put them on a shelf built into the tomb. There they would remain with other relatives that died and done the same way.