What Jesus Did! 'Who Will Roll Away the Stone?' — Mark 16:3

Sunday, December 25, 2016

The women said to each other, "There is a large stone covering the entrance of the tomb. Who will move the stone for us?"
— Mark 16:3
Illustration of Mark 16:3 — The women said to each other, "There is a large stone covering the entrance of the tomb. Who will move the stone for us?"

Key Thought

"Who will move the stone for us?" This was the question of the women who had followed Jesus. Who will balance the checkbook, service the car, mow the lawn, take care of the house, do the laundry, bake the Christmas cookies, ... and on and on we could go about the practical questions that lie beneath the death of a loved one. In the face of death, we often find ourselves with bewildering and overwhelming questions. These are practical questions. These are hard questions. These are confusing questions. Jesus' death was no different. Life goes on for those left behind in grief. More than just offering quiet and nice platitudes, let's get to work helping roll away the stone for each person who needs grace—let's do practical and helpful things that need doing while they are overwhelmed with grief.

Today's Prayer

Dear God, grief comes back during the Christmas season and hits us surprisingly hard. Please be with us and help us make it through this year's Christmas with appreciation for those who have gone to be with you before us. Give us the courage to walk faithfully in their footsteps. Please provide us with the support of Christian community to help us "roll away our stone" and do the things that most need doing. And, dear Father, please use us—use me—to help those in grief in very practical ways. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

The next day after the Sabbath day, Mary from Magdala, Salome, and Mary the mother of James bought some sweet-smelling spices. They wanted to put the spices on Jesus' body. Very early on that day, the first day of the week, the women were going to the tomb. It was very early after sunrise. The women said to each other, "There is a large stone covering the entrance of the tomb. Who will move the stone for us?" Then the women looked and saw that the stone was moved. The stone was very large, but it was moved away from the entrance. The women walked into the tomb. They saw a young man there wearing a white robe. The man was sitting on the right side of the tomb. The women were afraid. But the man said, "Don't be afraid. You are looking for Jesus from Nazareth, the one that was killed on a cross. He has risen from death! He is not here. Look, here is the place they put him when he was dead. Now go and tell his followers. And {be sure to} tell Peter. Tell them, 'Jesus is going into Galilee. He will be there before you. You will see him there like he told you before.'" The women were very afraid and confused. They left the tomb and ran away. The women did not tell about what happened, because they were afraid. [Some of the oldest Greek copies of Mark end the book here.]

Mark 16:1-8

Related Scripture Readings

The next day Jesus went to a town called Nain. Jesus' followers and a large group of people were traveling with him. When Jesus came near the town gates, he saw a funeral. A mother, who was a widow, had lost her only son. Many people from the town were there with the mother while her son was being carried out. When the Lord (Jesus) saw her, he felt very sorry for her. Jesus said to her, "Don't cry." Jesus walked to the coffin and touched it. The men that were carrying the coffin stopped. Jesus said to the dead son, "Young man, I tell you, get up!" Then the son sat up and began to talk. Jesus gave him to his mother.

Luke 7:11-15

Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about those people who have died. We don't want you to be sad like other people—people who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died. But we believe that Jesus rose again. So, because of Jesus, God will raise to be with Jesus those people who have died. What we tell you now is the Lord's own message. We who are living now might still be living when the Lord comes again. We who are living at that time will be with the Lord, but not before those people who have already died. The Lord himself will come down from heaven. There will be a loud command. That command will be given with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God. And the people who have died and were in Christ will rise first. After that, we people who are still alive at that time will be gathered up with those people who have died. We will be taken up in the clouds and meet the Lord in the air. And we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

But we thank God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. So, my dear brothers and sisters, stand strong. Don't let anything change you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord. You know that your work in the Lord is never wasted.

1 Corinthians 15:57-58

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.