I woke up on Monday morning wondering what it means for us to live out the resurrection in this post-Easter world. Because if we really believe that world changed that morning when Jesus rose from the dead 2,000 years ago, surely that must mean something important and tangible in the way we live our post-Easter lives.
One scene from the Easter story that stood out to me this year was Mary coming to Jesus’ tomb on Sunday morning to anoint his crucified corpse.
But there was a big problem with her plan.
Because, fearing that Jesus’ disciples would fake a resurrection, the Romans used a large stone to block the entrance of the tomb and ordered soldiers to stand guard around the clock to make sure no one tampered with it.
As Mary left her house that morning, I wonder if she was worried about that stone. How could a woman possibly move a stone that weighed hundreds — if not thousands — of pounds? I wonder how much anxiety she felt as she tried to problem solve in her head. I wonder what she planned to use as a lever to dislodge the stone, or what scheme she had concocted to trick the soldiers into moving the boulder for her.
And yet, when she arrived, the stone had already been rolled away.
The stone had already been rolled away.
For me, this is what it means to live out the resurrection in 2018. To live into the reality that the stone has already been rolled away.
In my life, in your life, and in the life we share with the world, there are many mental, physical, financial, emotional and spiritual obstacles that seem insurmountable, impossible, and overwhelming.
It’s easy to approach these barriers with anxiety and worry – and sometimes, even panic. It’s easy for our minds to start spinning, wondering how in the world we’re going to roll this stone away. We frantically search for what we can leverage to dislodge the massive problem that’s standing in our way. We scheme plots and ploys to manipulate others into moving the barriers for us.
But if we really believe Jesus conquered the biggest foe anyone could ever face when he conquered death, and if we really believe that Jesus’ Spirit is still with us now, and if we really believe that Jesus intercedes for us, and if we really believe that if God is for us there’s nothing that exists in this world or the next that could possibly stand against us — then that means something.
No, not something.
That means everything.
The resurrection of Jesus means that no matter what boulders and barriers and impossibly heavy stones we encounter, we see with eyes of faith that the stone has already been rolled away. God’s already working in ways both seen and unseen to come to our rescue. Jesus is already breathing life into the situations we think are impossible to revive. Love is already painting rainbows behind the dreary fog we think will never lift.
When we live the truth of the resurrection in a post-Easter world, we live in hope. We walk in confidence. We rest in trust.
We are bolder than any boulder — because we know God’s already rolled it away.