Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.
Greetings in the name of the Risen Lord,
John’s Gospel is one of my favorites. His stories contain layers of meaning; some of which we explored during the Lenten sermon series. The above-referenced sentence is linked to a deeper meaning then simple telling us Mary showed up at the tomb and the stone had been removed. We read in Genesis 29:10: When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of his uncle Laban, and Laban’s sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. When Jacob rolled the stone away, life-giving water in the well was revealed for the sheep. So, too, when the stone is removed from the tomb of Jesus, we find new life as a gift to us. Biblically, we are sometimes referred to as sheep.
I lived with anxiety and panic attacks for many years. I had developed strategies and unhealthy behaviors to survive with the anxiety. One of my strategies which allowed me to engage in life was to arrive late to any meeting or gathering. If I arrived early my anxiety would have time to stimulate my fight or flight response and I would want to flight. Being late was a way of life even on days my anxiety was not in control. I had the stone of my anxiety rolled away in a conversion experience in 1994; however, it took me awhile to learn how to walk in faith, let go of the unhealthy ways and embrace the new life found in Jesus the Christ. I find myself still holding the stone of being late at times, especially when it is convenient for me. I am still learning and growing in faith, trust, and ways of being a disciple.
What stone in your life needs to be removed that you might have full and abundant life in Christ? Have you asked God to remove it? (I have a feeling Mary Magdalene spent a lot of time in prayer from Jesus’ burial to the first day of the week. I wonder if she asked for the stone to be removed so she could get into the tomb and prepare Jesus for a proper burial.) Has the stone in your life already been removed but you are still holding on to it out of habit or fear of change? Are you running away like Mary because you do not know how to live without the stone in your life?
Please know if you need some help with a stone in your life, I am available to assist you or to find you someone who can.
In Christ’s Love and Light,