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Who will roll away the stone?

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, 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?”  Mark 16:1–4

Mary Magdalene and the other women had a ministry to perform—a traditional ministry. They wanted to anoint Jesus’s body with spices, but there was an obstacle in the way (Mark 16:1; Luke 24:1).

They knew that a large, heavy stone had been rolled in front of the entrance to the tomb where Jesus’s body had been laid. This was a problem and they didn’t have a solution. Undeterred, they went to the tomb anyway.

Miraculously, the stone had been rolled away! (Matt. 28:2; Mark 16:4; Luke 24:2).

The women were able to enter the tomb, but they couldn’t do what they had come to do. Jesus’s body was gone. Instead, they were given another ministry—a better ministry. They were commissioned to go and tell the other disciples that Jesus had come back to life. Jesus had risen from death!

My prayer is that obstacles will be miraculously removed for Christian women and men who have ministries to perform, and that some will be commissioned with even better ministries than the ones they have envisioned.

We have kingdom work to do: to carry on Jesus’s ministry empowered by his Spirit (e.g., Matt. 4:23; Luke 4:18; Acts 10:38 cf. Luke 17:21). We have the message of a new life in Jesus to tell and to demonstrate. We mustn’t let obstacles get in the way and we don’t need to solve all the problems before we get started. And let’s not allow any naysayers to stop us from serving God and building up his people.

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Explore more

Go and work in my vineyard: Matthew 20:1–16
Jesus had many female followers – many!
Who was Mary the Magdalene?
The Other Mary: Mother of James and Joseph
Salome: Follower of Jesus and Myrrh Bearer
More articles on “Holy Week” women are here.
Partnering Together: Jesus and Women
The Apostolic Ministry of Gospel Women
Is Jesus Waiting for us?

4 thoughts on “Who will roll away the stone?

  1. Peace be with you;
    Dear Marg Mowczko,
    There are many vague in Scriptures which the authors must think to make excuse to justification. Don’t you think? Those women be for go tomb they should decide who is going to move the stone. The same they provid spices for anointing the body. On the other hand Jesus didn’t need roll the stone, because He could go through the stone, as the same He went from through the wall of upper room.
    Yours sincerely,
    Javad Mousavi

    1. Peace be with you, also.

      Dear Javed,

      I don’t think the women intended to move the stone themselves. It would have been much too heavy for one, two or even three women to shift.

      Jesus didn’t need the stone to be rolled away. It was for the benefit of the women, and others, to show that the tomb was empty.

  2. The anointing of the Holy Spirit is upon me…

    His purpose for me is clear…

    There are so many seemingly insurmountable obstacles in my path. I don’t know how to roll away these stones.

    But the same Spirit Who raised Christ from the dead dwells in me. His resurrection life and power cannot be obstructed.

    I need these truths so much.

    Thank you, Marg, for sharing them.

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