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Easter rolls away our stones

By Pastor Harun Gatobu
United Methodist Church, Wallace

“And If Christ has not been raised then our preaching is useless and so is our faith…But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruit of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:14,20)”
The early church had no doubt that Jesus Christ had risen from dead. The Gospels tells us about the women who went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus (Mark 16:1-3). Their main concern was who was going to roll the stone away. To their surprise, the stone was rolled away and the tomb was empty. The angel told them that Jesus had been raised. In Luke 24:5, the angel asked them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead, he is not here but risen.”
Whenever I celebrate Easter, I want to think of how “Easter rolls the stone away.” The stone was rolled away not to let Jesus out because nothing could hold him inside. The big stone could not keep him in. Even the soldiers who were guarding the tomb could not keep him in. The stone was rolled away to let the people see that he was not in the grave. The tomb was empty.
There is always joy and peace to know that Jesus is resurrected. However, we know that the realities that we face each day do not always make us happy. Sometimes we go through things that are like big heavy stones that need to be removed.
Just as the stone was rolled away, through Jesus Christ who is risen, Easter rolls the stones of our problems away. It rolls the stones of illness and sickness bringing healing. It rolls the stones of doubts away bringing faith. Easter rolls the stones of hatred away bringing love. Easter rolls the stones of our sins away bringing forgiveness and everlasting life.
Easter is an assurance that death does not have the last word. It is Jesus Christ who has the last say. Death has been swallowed up in victory, and that victory comes from our risen Christ.
One of my favorite Easter songs is, “I serve a risen Savior. He is in the world today. I know that he is living, whatever foes may say. I see his hand of mercy; I hear his voice of cheer. And just the time I needed him he is always near… Christ Jesus lives today. He walks with me and talks with me, along life’s narrow way…You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within me.”