Mark 16:1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 Looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large.
One of the things I love about Bible stories is that they are true. Historical narrative is found in God’s word. God used men through the power of the Holy Spirit to record things for us just as they occurred. God records the frustrations and the temper of Moses. He records the sins of David. He records the denials of Simon Peter. God records the good, the bad and the ugly. In this passage we see some good things. We see some ladies who are faithful. They have been traumatized by the gruesome death of Christ on the cross, someone they have loved and cherished. Christ died on the cross on the Friday, just before the beginning of the Sabbath day and because of their faith these ladies basically had to sit at home all day Saturday. Now it is Sunday morning and God has laid it upon their heart to go and anoint the body of Christ with spices. In those days when someone died before they placed them in the tomb, the custom was to anoint their body with spices. It was an embalming type of process. Three days have passed and Christ has already been placed in the tomb. For most people it would seem like the opportunity to anoint the body had passed. The body would already beginning to decompose and much like the situation mentioned of Lazarus after three days in the grave, “By now he stinketh.” Yes, most would have said it was too late to go and anoint the body of Christ. But we need to know that if God places something on our hearts, it is never too late. It is never too late to say you’re sorry even though months or years may have passed, it is never too late to go back to school (even if you’re older than the teacher), it is never too late to do something IF God is calling you to do it!
Because God has laid it on their heart and because it is the right thing to do, they go even though it is the third day and even though Christ has already been placed in the tomb. As they go, they realize that an obstacle is in their path; a stone has been placed over the opening to the tomb. They know they cannot remove the stone by themselves. I am sure they probably heard about the guards through the grapevine and they know the Roman guards would not help them. All seems lost. There are so many obstacles and uncertainties present on that morning. They are not sure of how they will anoint His body, they are just sure that it is the right thing to do and they keep on going. They expect God to make a way.
I have to tell you that I know a bunch of people who would have turned around when they realized that a stone was in the way. Worse than that, I know a bunch of people who would have wanted to do the right thing but who would have never bought the spices and never started the trip. I know so many people who when faced with obstacles and uncertainty would not have found the hope or the strength to keep going on! Perhaps today you find yourself in the midst of some uncertainty. Perhaps there are obstacles you face which seem as insurmountable as this large gravestone seemed to these ladies. Perhaps there is some great opposition standing between you and what you must do, barriers between where you are and where you must go, obstacles that you have no idea how they will be removed.
I want you to know that if God has placed a mission, a journey or a task upon your heart, God will give you the strength to keep going on! Don’t give up and don’t give in! Keep going on! Expect God to make a way and you will be blessed for your faith! These ladies got up and they were the first to hear about the Risen Lord! And they were the first to get to share the glorious Good News! Jesus lives! They expected God to make and way and the Lord blessed them over and above their expectations. Paul praises the Lord for this quality in Ephesians 3:20 saying:
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
We serve a God who removes obstacles. We serve a God who gives us the strength to keep going on! We serve a God who blesses us in ways we can never imagine! Get up, get moving, it is not too late! Hang in there when it gets tough or when obstacles arise! Keep going and to God be the glory, Amen!
If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org