By Ronnie McBrayer
I was only eight years old and spending a week with an aunt and uncle. Above their little home, resting quietly on the hillside was a massive rock the size of a couple of Volkswagen Vanagons, pushed there by bulldozers building a new road. We were sitting on the porch and my uncle said casually, “Sure hope that rock never rolls down the hill. It would roll right through the house and kill us all.” I didn’t sleep a wink the rest of my stay.
I was filled with the blubbering terror that we would all be crushed in our sleep as this malicious rock unhinged itself from its resting place. The headlines the next day would recount the tragic story of a man and woman squashed to death in their bed. The real heartbreak would be the demise of their innocent nephew who was only visiting for a few days. After two sleepless nights my uncle cut my stay off early and drove me home in a blowing snow storm. It was the only way any of us were going to get any sleep.
Crippling fears. High anxiety. Sleepless nights. Rolling rocks. It sounds a lot like Easter morning. The Gospel tells the old story of a group of women walking to Jesus’ tomb early that Sunday morning. As their feet shuffle toward the grave side, they have every intention of anointing the hastily buried body of Jesus. There is only one problem: A rock the size of a couple of Volkswagen Vanagons covered the entrance.
They wonder aloud to each other, “How will we get to Jesus’ body?” “How can we pay our respects and embalm him properly?” And then they ask the supreme question of Easter Sunday morning: “Who will roll away the stone?”
We will all ask that question at some point. Who will do for us what we cannot do ourselves? Who will roll away the stone? The stone of death, of separation from our loved ones, of fear and dread. The stone of dashed hopes and unfinished lives. The stone of finality that is simply too heavy to move.
Upon their arrival to the tomb, these dear ladies found the stone already rolled away. Jesus had taken up his life again, breaking through the power of death, paving a highway to the kingdom of God. Who will roll away the stone? Jesus already has.
Ronnie McBrayer is the author of “Leaving Religion, Following Jesus.” He writes and speaks about life, faith, and Christ-centered spirituality. Visit his website at www.ronniemcbrayer.net.