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Sermon April 4 2021

Easter 2021 Sermon

Mark 16:1-8


Alleluia!  Christ Is Risen!  Christ Is Risen Indeed!  Alleluia! 

Are you a morning person?  Do you like to get up early in the morning all happy and excited and ready to greet the new day?  Or are you like me, someone who turns off the alarm clock and then takes a few more minutes before I am awake enough to get out of bed? 

This morning we just heard of several women who went early in the morning to visit the tomb of Jesus.  Now, I do not know if they were morning people, but our text today states that Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome got up early on the first day of the week to bring spices to finish the burial process of their beloved teacher and friend. 

And as they made their way towards the cemetery, the three women wondered out loud who would roll away the stone from the entrance of the tomb.  After all, the stone was huge, and heavy, and was beyond their ability to move even if all three of them put all their effort into it.  The women knew they needed help.  The women knew that they could not move the stone by themselves.

Who here has not asked that same question in their life?  Perhaps not in the same words, but with the same meaning.  An illness diagnosed, a job lost, a relationship fractured, the death of a loved one.  The stones that get in the way in our lives can be very heavy and frustrating. 

This past year we have all been obstructed by the heavy stone of the corona virus.  And many people have wondered who will roll away the stone that has blocked us from enjoying our daily routines.  The crisis of this past year has gone on and on and on.  And so, we wonder who will roll away the stone for us.  And we ask when will our situation end? 

Imagine then, the surprise the women felt when they arrived at the tomb and discovered that someone had already rolled away the stone for them.  Our text states “When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back.” 

The stone that had been such a concern to them no longer was an obstacle to them.  The stone that had interfered with their activities no longer presented an obstruction in their lives. 

The stone that had been such a problem to them was no longer the main issue in their lives.  And now they could finish what they had started out to do. 

But God had other plans.  When the women entered the tomb, the women discovered a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they became alarmed.  “Who is this man?” they must have thought.  And “What is he doing here?”  they must have demanded.  The women did not know yet that Jesus had risen from the dead.  

In a calm and quiet voice, the young man said to them “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified.  He has been raised; He is not here.  Look, there is the place they laid Him.  Now go, tell His disciples and Peter that He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.” 

Suddenly the events became very confusing.  The words that the young man spoke seemed too good to be true.  He Is Risen!  He is not here!  You will not find Him in the tomb.  He has gone on ahead of you.  Go and tell the others.  

Just when all seemed lost, the women were told that Jesus is alive.  The grave could not hold Him.  And the women were filled with terror and amazement.  Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb.  And they said nothing to anyone because they were afraid. 

Thankfully, the women were not afraid for long, because the other Gospel accounts record their joy.  And they did go and tell others what they had heard and seen.  And they did journey to Galilee.  And they did see Jesus. 

Today we live in a world that is filled with much uncertainty, and anxiety and fear.  And just like the women, we too are filled with distress concerning the stone that is in front of us.  But the Easter message assures us that we need not be alarmed at the events occurring in our lives.  

Christ is alive.  Christ’s resurrection is our resurrection.  There is indeed joy in the midst of fear.  Because Christ is Alive, we can face the events of today and tomorrow because we know that Christ walks with us as we journey into the future that God has prepared for us. 

And so, even though not all of us are “morning people,” as baptized children of God we know that we are all Easter People.  We can joyfully rise and greet each new morn because we know that Christ is with us.  Therefore, let us celebrate because the stone has been rolled away.  Jesus is no longer in the tomb.  Christ is Risen!  Christ Is Alive!  Alleluia!  Alleluia! 

I would like to close with the words from the popular Easter Hymn that describes our feelings this morning.  The words are from the Hymn “Because He lives.”  The words are as follows… 

“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,

Because He lives, all fear is gone;

Because I know He holds the future;

and life is worth the living,

just because He lives!”


Alleluia!  Christ Is Risen!  Christ Is Risen Indeed!  Alleluia! 

Let us pray: Almighty God, you give us the joy of celebrating our Lord’s resurrection.  Give us also the joys of life in your service, and bring us at last to the full joy of life eternal; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who live and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.