The stone is
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
Searching back through scripture we come to the various encounters between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. There are thirty-eight verses that refer to her.
Some consider her the prostitute who was going to be stoned by the crowd until Jesus intervened. Some believe she is the woman that anointed Jesus at the house of Simon the Leper, or the one who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, anointed them, and dried them with her hair.
While those women were not given a specific name, we do know from scripture that Jesus, specifically, saved her. Luke 8:1-3 is that reference to her: Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out.
Mary comes to the tomb, early in the morning and finds the stone is gone. What a beautiful scriptural testimony to what Jesus has accomplished for her and for us; the stone is removed.
We face many trials and tribulations in our lives. The world is filled with stones that stand in the way of true joy and happiness. When we face these things, when the stones of our existence confront us, we are called to remember this moment of our salvation.
Mary is our example, standing before the removed stone. She is, at first, filled with questions and wonder, and then it hits. The alternate Gospel, for this morning, taken from Mark, adds detail: On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed. He said to them, “Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him. But go and tell his disciples and Peter.
She runs off to the Apostles. She begins to tell of it as she had been directed. She now connects fully to the removed stone.
We have a story to tell. We, the Christian faithful, have experienced the removal of our stones. By His death and resurrection, whatever stood in our way to eternal glory has been removed. Spread the joy!
Will we run across stones and confront roadblocks and obstacles? Most certainly! When we do, recall this most sacred moment, this day of indescribable joy. Whatever we confront can be climbed, and surmounted. Jesus has destroyed and overcome all stones. Alleluia! He is risen!