On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb… — Luke 24:1
The women arrived with the expectation that the giant stone in front of the tomb would still be in place. When they arrived, it had rolled out of the way.
But if it had not been moved, how did they plan to move it?
I asked my daughters what they thought. They said, “There were guards there. They would have asked them to help.”
I considered that – but I don’t think it is a plausible answer. These were Roman guards — guards who owed nothing to the Jewish women. Even if the women had dared to speak to them, (which I don’t think would have happened), would the Roman guards have agreed to help the women? I don’t think so. They were under no obligation to do so.
The women were under the assumption that Jesus was still DEAD. They weren’t coming expecting the stone to be moved OR for Jesus to have risen. They arrived with anointing oil for his body.
So why did they come without backup help? How did they expect to move the stone? I’ve been praying and asking God to make it clear. I’m sure there are many reasons. But here’s what I’m leaning toward right now, the answer that I hear in my heart…
Even though they knew Jesus was dead — I believe that the women came with EXPECTATIONS.
The truth is, Jesus was dead and they had no way to move the stone.
BUT — they came anyway.
There was NO plausible way they would be able to anoint Jesus’ body without divine intervention — no way to move the stone on their own and no help to do so —
and they came anyway. They came expecting God to DO SOMETHING to make that happen.
THEY CAME EXPECTING.
Remember when Lazarus died? Mary and Martha were furious and hurt and full of all other sorts of emotions b/c Jesus hadn’t arrived in time like they’d expected Him to do. They had expected Him to come back and heal their brother before he died from the sickness. And when Jesus didn’t, they were distraught. They wept and Jesus wept with them. BUT THEN… when it seemed that all hope was lost, they watched as Jesus raised their brother from the dead.
But this time, it was Jesus in the tomb! Who was going to raise Him from the dead?
They didn’t know —
And they came anyway. They came…
Provers 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. *
So what about us? What “stones” in our lives need to be moved to allow us to see the miracle of Jesus’ death-defeating power? His resurrection power? His grace, mercy, and truth? When we ask God to do something, is our faith in line with our requests?
Like the women at the tomb — do we come to Jesus EXPECTING Him to do something?
That’s what faith is. It is the HOPE in things not seen… and EXPECTATION that God will do what God does… He saves. He revives. He makes all things new. He makes a WAY when there is not way. He responds to our pain and hurt in compassion and with truth. HE LOVES.
The empty tomb means that we ALWAYS have help in time of need. The one who raised Lazarus from the dead holds the power over sin and death — and moves whatever needs to be moved.
When we shift our expectations and put our focus on Jesus– God’s plan is revealed and no stone can stand in His way. NONE.
What stones are in your way today? God can and will shake what needs to be moved and shaken…