Rev. Dr. Ken Walden (Courtesy photo)

Scripture: Mark 16:1-8

Jesus Has Risen

16 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?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

Happy Easter! Billions of Christians across the globe will be celebrating the Easter Season from April 4 to May 16, 2021. We are Easter People! We believe in Resurrection Power.

We are reminded during this Easter Season that God ultimately has the last word. The enemy is not in total control of our lives. Humanity is not more powerful than Jesus Christ. The enemy cannot stop God. God is still moving… even now.

According to the Gospel of Mark, 16th chapter, a few ladies worried that their options were limited in their inability to roll a stone away to reach Jesus. I believe this passage teaches us the following lessons:

  1. We will have a variety of stones during our human experience. 2. Do not allow stones to make you go backward. 3. God’s power can roll the stones away.

It was not the first time that the ladies experienced stones. The ladies experienced stones of humiliation during the arrest of Jesus. The ladies experienced stones of disappointment during the crucifixion of Jesus. The ladies experienced stones of pain during the burial of Jesus. Yet, they remained determined to continue to reach Jesus. They did not allow the stone to turn them backward.

You can walk around several stones in life. You can work around some stones in life. You can walk over a few stones life and continue to reach the destiny that God has in store for you. However, there are certain stones that are too large to overcome with your human abilities. These stones require Divine Deliverance.

The ladies in the Gospel of Mark’s 16th chapter knew they could not get through this certain stone by themselves. The enemy will always try to place a variety of different kinds of stones to stop your progress.

Easter Season is a good reminder that it is never too late to pivot in a different direction for the betterment of our lives and our community. We should not feel that we are by ourselves in isolated situations, away from miraculous rescues.

We are not committed to a permanent state of physical, emotional, and/ or psychological exhaustion without any possibilities of renewal. We are an Easter People!

What stones are trying to keep you down? What stones are contributing factors, hindering you from progress? There are a lot of stones in life trying to knock us down or hold us back.

Too many people feel defeated by addictions, physical ailments, mental illnesses, and other misfortunes that can cause major afflictions. Christians are not immune to major stones of afflictions. However, Christians do not have to be defeated by major afflictions, because we believe in Resurrection Power!

Easter Season is significant for many reasons that include, but not limited to, the following themes:

(a) New Beginnings (b) Restoration (c) Divine Deliverance

During this Easter Season I want you to know all that three of the previously highlighted themes are available for you. I am equally appreciative of New Beginnings, Restoration, and Divine Deliverance.

The Holy Bible offers numerous stories of how God lifted people up to higher levels of consciousness and higher levels of commitment to following Jesus Christ. God can roll the stones away.

Happy Easter!

The Rev. Dr. Ken Walden is the senior pastor of Holman United Methodist Church located in Los Angeles, California. He is the author of “Practical Theology for Church Diversity,” “Challenges Faced by Iraq War Reservists and Their Families” and “A Pastor’s Poetry.”