When the women arrived at the tomb on Easter morning, they found that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb; even more astonishing, the body of Jesus was no longer inside (see Luke 24:2-3). The stone used to seal the crypt was not a small rock — nor was it even a stone the size of a typical headstone used to mark graves in cemeteries here in the United States. Instead, it was a massive stone that ordinarily would have taken several people to move, and such stones typically had to be moved with the aid of levers. Due to its size and weight, this stone was guaranteed to stay in place and to prevent robbers from pillaging the tomb. However, there it was — rolled away from the entrance so anyone who wished could enter and be astounded at the empty tomb.
As Christians, we understand that Jesus’ death and resurrection paid in full for our sin and gave us the gift of eternal life with Him — our final destination is Heaven. However, we can easily overlook the implication of the rolled-away stone for our daily lives on this earth. Heaven often seems distant, and the challenges we face in our families, friendships, workplaces, and neighborhoods can prove overwhelming. However, God promised in Ezekiel 36:26 that He would give me a new heart and put a new spirit in me, that He would remove from me my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh. That means I can ask God to touch the hard, stony places of my heart with His life-giving, resurrecting power and give me a tender, sensitive heart. He can heal the pain of past sin, traumatic memories, and all my disappointments. In Jeremiah 31:33, the Lord also says that He will put His law in our minds and write it on our hearts. That means He will empower me to obey His law, which protects me and reflects His concern for my well-being. Moreover, Paul admonishes the Hebrews (12:1-2) to lay aside every weight and run the race set before them with perseverance, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith. God heals and tenderizes our hearts, empowers us to obey, and urges us to run toward Him.
What does this truth mean for me personally? It means that the Holy Spirit has the power to roll away heaviness, sorrow, sadness, sin, oppression, infirmity, death, and destruction from my life. Sometimes I find myself groaning under the pressure and darkness of challenging circumstances or relationship difficulties. If I can remember to ask God to roll away the stone, light pours into the tomb-like rooms of my heavy heart, and my hope is renewed. He will empower me to lay aside everything that weighs me down, to figuratively clean the rocks out of my pockets, and run the race set before me. Jesus, roll away the stone from my heart and empty all the rocks out of my pockets! Help me take the pebbles out of my shoes that hinder my walk with You. Pour your light into the dead places of my heart and renew and restore me! I long to experience your resurrection power in my daily life this side of Heaven!