Victoria Osteen - Roll Away The Stone
Have you ever watched a movie or a show, and you'd seen it before, you knew the end of the story? Maybe you were watching it with a friend, and they didn't know the end of the story, but you did. So, when all the suspenseful parts were coming, you weren't anxious or concerned because you knew the end of the story.
You see, today, you and I are living in the end of the resurrection story. See, we know what happened the day that Jesus died. We know what happened when he was buried. He rose again. We're living at the end of the story. But see, 2,000 years ago, there was disciples and followers of Jesus that were actually living in the story. They didn't know what was going to happen. You know, the interesting thing about a story, when you're watching it, that's one thing. But when it's happening to your own life, that's an entirely different thing. You see, when it's happening to you, and you face difficulties and challenges and suspenseful plots, it's difficult. You can't always remember the end of the story. You can't always remember what has been promised.
See, today, I want to talk about a band of women, one being Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and a few others. You see, they were living the story 2,000 years ago. In fact, they saw Jesus as he walked the earth. They saw him do tremendous miracles. They saw him open blind eyes and deaf ears. In fact, Mary Magdalene, her life was completely changed, radically changed by Jesus. She had a miserable life. The Bible says that she was full of darkness. But Jesus touched her, and she became full of life.
See, she was living the story of this Grand Savior, Jesus. But she also lived the story of his death. She walked through the story when he hung on the cross. She saw him as he died slowly on that cross. She saw when they took him down, and Joseph asked for his body so that he could wrap him in linen and take him to a tomb, and that tomb was sealed that day with a huge, huge stone. She saw it all, and as Jesus lay in that tomb, her hopes, her dreams lay there with him. You see, she saw it all. She was living in the story.
One day after the sabbath, she woke up early in the morning. The Bible says the sun had just come up, and she and that band of women, they gathered spices. They wanted to anoint Jesus' body one last time. They were on their way to the tomb. I can imagine it was still misty in the air, there was still dew on the grass. They had all their stuff, they knew their assignment, they knew what their heart was beating for, and they were on their way. But on that path to the tomb, they remembered something. They remembered the large stone that sealed the entrance of that tomb, and they began talking among themselves about that big obstacle. They began thinking, "How in the world are we going to move that stone"? The Bible says in Mark 16:4, "They said among themselves, 'who will help us roll away the stone'"?
You see, that stone represented a block to them. As long as that stone was there, they couldn't enter the tomb and anoint the body of Jesus. That stone was too big for them to move themselves. Have you ever felt that way before? Has something ever blocked your life? Maybe you've heard your own self saying, "Who's going to help me move this thing"? Have you ever had a block in your life? Maybe you wanted to start a new business, but you kept hitting obstacles draining your resources. Maybe you had a stone of an unwanted divorce, a stone of a bad medical report, stone of fear, stone of debt.
See, those stones, they're real. They come in different shapes and different sizes. Maybe the stone you're facing today is not as big as the one at the tomb. Maybe it is. But can I tell you it's a stone that wants to block you? It's real. They come in different shapes, they come in different sizes, but you know what the purpose is? The purpose is to stop us. The purpose is to trap us, thinking that we'll never overcome that stone. It's too big, the challenge is too hard. We might as well quit now.
You know what I loved about Mary and Mary was the fact that when they remembered the stone, they didn't stop. They kept going, and when they got to the tomb, the Bible says that they looked up, and they were so surprised the stone had been rolled away. The stone was not blocking the tomb anymore. The obstacle that was trying to defeat them had been rolled away. Think about that just a minute. What they were worried about, what was there is now gone. Mary walked into the tomb and saw the angel, and the angel declared to her, "Are you looking for Jesus? He's not here. He's risen. He's risen".
You see, the problem that she was facing that day was met with a promise, the promise of the resurrection. As soon as the angel told her, "He's not here, he's risen", the Bible says that she was reminded of the promises of Jesus. He said, "I'll rise again". He said, "The temple will be built back in 3 days".
See, when she heard it, she remembered the promise. Sometimes when you're walking through a difficult situation and there's obstacles in your path, it's hard to remember those resurrection promises. But can I tell you today stones are meant to stop you? Sometimes there are stones in reality that you cannot move on your own. They are impossible. They're out of your control. But can I tell you today that Jesus is alive and he's still rolling away the stones? He's still moving stones in your life. It was Easter Sunday, and Mary didn't even know it.
I hope this Easter Sunday makes you take a look at those blocks in your life, those stones, those things that are trying to weigh you down, cause fear and anxiety, those things that would like to stop you from fulfilling your destiny. I hope you look at those stones differently, and next time you run into one of those things, I hope you look at it and you say, "He has risen, and I will stand on the resurrection promises of the Lord Jesus Christ".
If you are facing a stone of discouragement today, I want to remind you that he heals the brokenhearted, he binds up their wounds. If you're looking at the stone of fear today, I want to remind you what the promises says. It says that, "I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind". Do you know with every stone, there's a promise? Just like that day that Mary walked to that tomb, that problem was resolved by the promise of the resurrection. Know today, whatever you're facing, there's a promise to help you overcome. There's a promise to strengthen you. He still heals, he still delivers, and he still sets free today by the power of the resurrection. But it's up to us to remember the power of the resurrection and the promises that he made to us, and attach the promise to it.
A friend of mine the other day was working on a project, and she was so excited about the end result. She said to me, "Victoria, I want to send you the before and after picture of my project". I said, "I'd love to see it". She sent it to me, I opened the attachment, and up came the before picture. It didn't look too good. I went to find the after picture and it wasn't there. I emailed her back and said, "Hey, where's the after picture"? She emailed me back and she said, "Oh my goodness, I forgot to attach it". She sent it to me, and I opened it up, it was magnificent.
Can I tell you today you may have a before picture, but if you will attach the promises of God, you will open up a picture of the after, and it will be magnificent because he's alive and he's risen. You see, that day that Mary walked to the tomb, history was changed. Her life was changed forever, and so was ours. He's risen and he's still moving stones today, amen? Amen.