I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
Each of us has a large stone blocking the door to our hearts. It sits there, cold and silent.
And each of us has moments in our lives that the stone is rolled back and we must stare into the dark confines of our deepest beliefs.
When that stone is rolled away, we must make a decision. Because laying within the walls of our hearts lies a momentous choice.
We must decide what to do with a tomb in Jerusalem. We must decide if that tomb contains the bones of a man named Jesus. Or if it doesn't. Each of us must think about that tomb and this man, this prophet, this maverick, this teacher, this pivotal figure in history, and we must decide how we believe the rest of the story following His execution played out.
We know from history He lived. We know from history that He created controversy.
But with the stone rolled away from the door to our hearts, we must peer into the dark corners and determine what we see there.
Some of us chose not to look too carefully. We glance inside the threshold, then are distracted away by busyness, chores, errands. It's a question we plan on evaluating later, an item to be considered at the bottom of a spiritual to-do list. It all seems a little fantastical, mythological, so...religious. And then the stone rolls back into place.
Some of us squint into the gloom and can't seem to navigate the mists swirling there. We appreciate His wise sayings. We can acknowledge His important place in world history. But to grapple with the issues of divinity and eternity, healing and miracles, prophecy and primogenitor, it's a little overwhelming, something seemingly better left to the theologians and experts. We step into the fog, look for the familiar and then turn, the conclusion drawn that he was a least a sage. And then the stone rolls back into place.
But some of us will be willing to walk fully into our hearts of darkness. We will bruise our shins as we bump into difficult questions. Our fingertips will brush coarse textures along the walls of faith. We will look through a glass darkly. And then, over in a deep corner, we will see a flicker of light. The light will grow and will begin to cast out shadows of doubt. And we will stand in the center of our hearts of stone and we will see that without Him, our hearts are as empty as His tomb.
His light will fill our hearts. The stony confines of our sin will melt away. And He will replace the flint of our failures with the softness of His grace.
For those who believe, the stone will forever be rolled away.
Because He is risen.
He is risen indeed.
Jesus, the Messiah.
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!