The stone rolled way from the empty tomb was a literally impossible, and joyous, event. When the immovable problems hit your life, remember that the God of miraculous and impossible things; cares, is already ahead of you and will see you through.
And hello, radio friends. How in the world are you? Thank God we can be in the world, but not of it. You don’t have to be tarred with the world’s brush. You can be kept by the power of God. That’s the basis of that little corny greeting which identifies the fact that this is your friend, Bob Cook. And you and I are going to be in the Word of God for a while, sharing these precious things which, if we put a handle on them and get hold of them, may indeed change our lives. We’ve been summarizing our study of the book of Mark. We’ve come now to chapter 16 and that’ll be the end of that. There are two or three or four things in that wonderful 16th chapter of Mark that I’d like to remind you of. I ended a sentence with a preposition, didn’t I? That’s something up with which we will not put, as Winston Churchill once said.
Anyhow, Mark 16:3-4. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome brought sweet spices and early in the morning they came to the grave site where the lord Jesus had been buried in this cave. Just as the sun was rising and they said among themselves, “Who shall roll away the stone from the door?” Now see, that grave was a cave. And then there was a circular wheel shaped stone that rolled in a channel that had been hewn out of the rock so that when you rolled that wheel shaped stone over in front of the opening, it was securely closed. That was the way they closed it up. Well obviously, it would weigh a great many pounds. A stone large enough to cover an opening which in turn was large enough to go through carrying a body. That’s a large opening, you see. You’d have to have a large, round, wheel-shaped stone to close up the opening. And two or three women just weren’t gonna be able to do it, so they said, “Who’s gonna roll it away?” An impossible situation on the face of it. In addition, the stone had been sealed with the official seal of the Roman Empire, so that the soldiers, as you recall, in one of the other gospel accounts, the soldiers were watching and the whole thing was very secure.
Matthew, in chapter 27, records Pilate as saying to these people who wanted to seal up the tomb. Pilate said, “Ye have a watch. Go your way, make it as sure as ye can.” So they went and made the sepulcher sure, sealing the stone and setting a watch. Well, you know of course that the resurrection occurred. The soldiers that were supposed to watch the tomb were completely devastated. They had no possible recourse against the divine power when the Lord Jesus Christ, accompanied by the angels there, came out of the tomb. Well, the stone was rolled away and it was open. Now, I wanna comment on this. You don’t know where I’m headed, do you? Well, I’ll tell you in a minute. They were on their way to do something good. They brought sweet spices that they might anoint his dead body because there had been no chance to do so when he had been buried on the evening before the Sabbath. And now they faced an insuperable difficulty, at least for them. Had there been 10 or 12 strong men with them, then they could say, “Well, we’ll get them to help us.” But they were by themselves, facing an impossibility. “Who’s gonna roll away the stone for us?” Didn’t know what to do.
I think I may be talking with somebody who is in a position exactly like that. You’re facing something or rather in your life. I don’t need to know what it is but you know. You’re facing something or rather that seems to you an impossible situation. You say, “How will it work out? What can I ever do? How can this problem be solved? How can this difficulty be overcome? Who’s gonna help me? Nobody around to help me. What am I gonna do?” Have you ever been in a situation like that? I’m sure you have and maybe some of you, to whom I’m speaking this minute, feel exactly that way. You say, “Yes, Brother Cook. You don’t know how bad it is and how difficult it is and how heartbreaking it is. Nobody seems to care and I haven’t got anybody to help me and what shall I do?”
Now, the first thing we learn as we read our Bible is that God never downgrades the reality of human need, and human difficulties, and human woe, and human heartbreak. God is a big enough God to run the universe and still count your tears. It said, “He will put all their tears in His tear bottle.” A metaphoric way of saying that God watches and knows when you’re suffering, and He cares. Peter says, “You can cast all your care upon Him, for He careth for you.” That means you are His personal concern. And the writer of the Hebrews tells us that we do have a high priest that can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He knows how you feel, which is more than any of your friends can say. With that in mind, let’s come to this matter of, “What do I do about rolling away the stone?” Well, the first thing is, keep right on. They kept on toward the sepulcher. They didn’t stop because they envisioned or anticipated a difficulty. Keep right on.
Second, know that God has been there before you. I’ve been surprised so many times in my own life when I came into a given situation to find that God had set it up for me. Have any of you had that experience? I’m sure you must have. God has been there before you and set you up so that things are working out to His glory. That’s such a precious realization. “When he putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before,” says the Bible. You can follow your blessed Lord. Jesus, our Lord, said, “Follow me and I will make you to become fishers of men.” And among His last words were to Peter, “If I will let John tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou, me.” Follow, follow. He is ahead. He’s been there before you. When you turn the corner, He’s there. He’s the God, as Francis Schaeffer wrote, “He is the God who is there.” You don’t have to look for Him. He’s there. And He, my dear friend, is planning for you. And He says, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you. Thoughts of good and not of evil to give you a desired end.” Can you envision that? Can you take it in?
You’ve come to a difficult corner. The poet calls it Wits End Corner. Are you standing at Wits End Corner? You’ve come to a difficult juncture in your life and you don’t know what to do. You’re thinking ahead and say, “I’m on my way to an impossible situation. I won’t have anybody to help me. The stone is there. Who’s gonna roll it away?” Please know, beloved, that God is there. And like the ladies who came that resurrection morning to the grave where the body of our Lord Jesus had lain, you’ll find that He’s already been there and that the stone is rolled away. Oh, that’s such a precious thought to me. I rejoice to know that my blessed Lord knows my way. “He knoweth the way that I take.” Job said, “He knoweth the way that I take, and when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” God knows what He’s doing. He knows where you’re going. He knows where He wants you to go, and He’s preparing the way. Hallelujah. Is that great? Who shall roll us away the stone? When they looked they saw that the stone was already rolled away and it was very great.
You don’t have to worry, my friend. That’s one thing the Christian doesn’t have to do is to worry about how you are going to make it in the difficulties of life. Said that distraught father who brought his sick boy to the Lord Jesus, said, “I brought him to Thy disciples and they could not cast out the demon, but if Thou canst do anything, have mercy on us and help us.” Jesus looked right at him and said, “It’s not if I can, it’s if you can. If thou canst, believe. All things are possible to him that believeth.” And the father said with tears, “Lord I believe, help Thou my unbelief.” That’s what you and I need to do. We need to bring the difficulty, the impossibility, the heartbreak. They’re all real aren’t they, Beloved? I know it. Our troubles are not imaginary and our fears are not imaginary. They’re there and the hurts still hurt. And all my preaching and talking to you isn’t gonna make the hurt diminish one whit. I know that. But Jesus is almighty. He’s the Savior. And you can bring that situation to Him and He can handle it. And you will know, as these women knew when they got to the grave, that God had been there before them. Oh, I rejoice in that. So precious to know that my Savior is ahead, and when I get there He will have set it up for me. You want to trust Him for that today businessman?
I know some business people who listen to the broadcast very early in the morning before they go on their way. Some who are of the Catholic faith listen to me and then go to Mass. I know that. And some who are Evangelicals, as we call them, they listen to the broadcast and then have prayer and devotions with wife and family and then go on out to work and school. Some of you that are listening at the beginning of what could be a very busy and hairy day. Can you trust your blessed Savior to go ahead of you and to set things up for you, so that as you go into every situation, you’ll know that you are part of what He is doing, part of what He has planned. He says, I’ll quote it for you again, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you. Thoughts of good and not of evil to give you a desired end.” God is planning the best for you, so trust Him as you go into situations today, will you? Oh, that’s so precious and so important.
Just this other little word in the last few seconds, “The angel said to the women, “I know that you seek Jesus of Nazareth which was crucified. He’s not here. He’s risen. Go your way, tell his disciples, and Peter.” And his disciples and Peter. You see, because Peter had said at the trial of the Lord Jesus, “I don’t even know him.” He had disclaimed and disowned his relationship as a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now the divine word is, “Tell his disciples and then tell the one that didn’t wanna be known as a disciple cause I still love him.” Oh, the love of the Savior is ever reaching out to you beloved. Accept it today.
Dear Father God, today, let us rejoice in knowing that Thou art able to roll away the stone. I pray in Jesus’s name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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