When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back.
Of course they were. Wondering about who would roll away the stone, that is. After all, they had watched the whole thing – Jesus being nailed to the cross, the crowds and bandits mocking him, his final breath and death, Joseph collecting his body and placing it in a nearby tomb. They – the two Marys and Salome, along with some other women who had supported Jesus – had seen it all. And so early on the day after the Sabbath, they went to the tomb, wishing to support and care for their teacher one more time.
Perhaps this desire had been so strong it had only occurred them as they neared their destination to wonder about the stone. But now it was more than wondering, it was worrying. How would they be able to roll that away? What could they have been thinking – they’ll never get into the tomb now. What on earth were they going to do?
All of this is perfectly natural – it’s what any one of us would have thought in their place. They know the realities of their world as well as we do, and some things don’t change. Big stones are always hard to move, and dead people don’t come back.
And yet when they turn the corner they see that, in fact, the stone has been moved? What has happened, I suspect they wonder. And maybe even, what else might have changed?
This is the beginning of Mark’s account of Easter, of Jesus’ resurrection, and it starts at just the right place, with the cold hard “facts” we know won’t change…except when they do.
So what are some of the things you know can’t change – in your life, in your relationships, in the world? And what would you do if you saw God begin to change them? This is, after all, the God who created light from darkness and raised Jesus from the dead. And for this God, nothing is a given and nothing is impossible.
Prayer: Dear God, remind us never to count you out, not in our lives, not in this world. For you are the one who creates and re-creates out of joy and love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.