Who will roll away the stone?
I remember many years ago being given an Argos poster and on it was written, 'I asked Jesus how much do you love me? "This much," he said and stretched out his arms and died.' It was a powerful illustration of the truth of love which we see captured in the person of Jesus. God is love and will even go to the cross, that ignominious death, to show us how much we are loved. I think it was Dietrich Bonhoeffer who said that if you had been the only person in the world, Christ would still have gone to the cross so that you would know God's love for you.
I want you to fast-forward to what happened on that first Easter day. The Jewish Sabbath is over and the women arrive at the tomb to anoint Jesus' body. We are told that it was the first day of the week just as the sun was rising. I love that phrase 'just as the sun was rising'. As the sun is rising out of the darkness, as light illuminates the world, so too the Son rises from the dead, the light shining in the darkness that the darkness cannot overpower. He is alive! The rising of the sun is a very evocative image.
As the women walk towards the tomb they are saying to one another, 'Who will roll away the stone?' I think that question is as real today as it was on that first Easter day. We still have the same question as we struggle with our lives and ourselves: 'Who will roll away the stone of our blockages and our blindness, our pain and our bitterness? Who will show us impossible love?'
Of course, the answer to those questions in our Christian tradition is the Risen Jesus, the lasting image and eternal icon of what God is going to do everywhere, for everybody, now and forever. The question is whether or not we are willing to let the risen Lord break into our lives in the power of the Spirit, so that we can know how much we're loved and so that the stone which we keep so firmly in place will be rolled away. When that happens, what freedom we experience and what life we can bring to the world.