The Stone Rolled Away – A Practical Lesson

Mark 16:3-4 – 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.

Let us observe how the difficulties which Christians fear, will sometimes disappear as they approach them. These holy women, as they walked to our Lord’s grave, were full of fears about the stone at the door.

“They said among themselves, Who shall roll away the stone from the door of the sepulcher?” But their fears were needless. Their expected trouble was found not to exist. “When they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away.”

What a striking emblem we have in this simple narrative of the experience of many Christians! How often believers are oppressed and cast down by anticipation of evils, and yet, in the time of need, find the thing they feared removed, and the “stone rolled away.”

A large proportion of a saint’s anxieties arise from things which never really happen. We look ahead to all the possibilities of the journey towards heaven. We conjure up in our imagination all kind of crosses and obstacles. We mentally carry tomorrow’s troubles, as well as today’s. And often, very often, we find at the end, that our doubts and alarms were groundless, and that the thing we dreaded most has never come to pass at all.

Let us pray for more practical faith. Let us believe that in the path of duty, we shall never be entirely forsaken. Let us go forward boldly, and we shall often find that the lion in the way is chained, and what appears to be a hedge of thorns, is only a shadow.

— J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels

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