roll away the stone

From John’s Gospel: “On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved…
From Mark’s Gospel: “After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.”
Why do the evangelists place so much emphasis on the stone? Christians through the centuries have focused a lot of reflection on that large stone laid to the mouth of the tomb. When Mary Magdalene went to the tomb she found the stone removed. That large material object – which might appear a convincing objection to faith – was gone; and she was the first witness to this.
No tomb on earth can hold the Lord. No material stone, however heavy, can imprison him. But we should not imagine that material stones are the hardest and heaviest things in the world. Who would have guessed that thoughts, which are made of nothing at all, could be heavier and harder than any stone? But experience tells us it is so. We are able to seal our minds and hearts with immovable stones of prejudice, hatred and fear. “To behold the resurrection, the stone must first be rolled away from our hearts,” said Peter Chrysologus (5th century).

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