Obstacle's Opportunity

Obstacles' Opportunity
By Rev. Bob Santilli - May 4, 2009

Very early ... they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?" But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away."

Mark 16: 3, 4 TNIV

It was a very practical question for these loyal women. Access to Jesus' body would be blocked by a large stone rolled across the entrance of the tomb. How could they deal with this obstacle? Could they find someone to do what they couldn't do themselves? How could they finish anointing the body of Jesus, their final act of devotion to this man they thought to be the Messiah?

Life is always presenting obstacles that seem insurmountable. That which we long for, or long to do, is often blocked by things or people beyond our control. And like the women in this resurrection account we wonder who will get rid of the obstacle.

But something surprising happened. When they arrived the obstacle was already removed. God dealt with the stone. But a much bigger surprise welcomed them. The dead Jesus was no longer there. Their original mission was no longer necessary. Jesus was alive, raised from the dead, conqueror of the biggest obstacle ever placed before the human race, that obstacle being death itself.

Peter Marshall observed that the stone was not rolled away to let Jesus out but to let the disciples in so they could be witnesses to the one event that transforms all life for all time.

If God could deal with the obstacle of death by raising Jesus from the grave is there anything that God cannot do? Obstacles bring to us the opportunity to trust God and to see the amazing ways that God, the great obstacle remover, enters into the messiness of life to bring out unexpected good and blessing.

Rev. Bob Santilli is a former pastor with 43 years serving American Baptist congregations.

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