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Who Will Roll Away the Stone?

  • Parallel: Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20

Mark 16:1-4 — And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. 3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? 4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

I. The Women: (At least 6, Witnesses of the Empty Tomb)

  • Mary Magdalene, Joana, Mary (Mother of James the Less & Joseph), Salome (Mother of James & Joseph), Mary (Mother of Jesus), Mary (wife of Clopas)

Luke 24:10 — It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.

The First two mentioned in Luke 24:10 are women which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities who also ministered to Jesus in Luke 8.

Luke 8:1 — And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him, 2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, 3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.

  1. Mary Magdalene - Luke 8:2

Mary Magdalene was a Galilean, probably from the town of Magdala South of Capernaum, on the west bank of the Sea of Galilee. We only have one hint at her life before she followed Jesus by that fact that Jesus delievered her from 7 devils.

(In the 6th century, Pope Gregory the Great authoritatively pronounced that the sinful woman mentioned in Luke 7:36-50 was the same person as Mary Magdalene. He even asserted that Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany were the same person.)

It was to Mary of Magdalene that Christ later appears first and to whom is the distinction of being the first evangelist of the resurrected Christ and the first "apostle" to the apostles!

Mark 16:9 — Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

  1. Joanna - Luke 8:3

The wife of Chuza who was Herod's Steward. "which ministered unto him of their substance." She with Susanna, and others had helped Jesus' financially.

As the steward of Herod's household, Chuza worked inside the palace in Galilee. He is most unlikely that Chuza was himself a disciple of Jesus. The Gospel of christ brought a sword of variance in that household.

Mt 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

  1. Mary, Mother of James (James the Less, the Younger) & Joseph - Mark 15:40

  2. Salome, Mother of James (the Elder) & John (Son's of Zebedee) - Matthew 27:56

Salome is that mother who petitioned Jesus to grant that her 2 sons each sit on his Left and Right in His kingdom.

Mt 20:21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.

Salome initial understanding of the nature of Christ and His kingdom was transformed by her personal witness of his death, empty tomb and resurrected body!

  1. Mary (mother of Jesus, widow of Joseph of Nazareth)

  2. Mary (wife of Cleophas)

Cleophas was possibly the brother of Joseph of Nazareth. This would make this Mary the earthly "aunt" of Jesus.

II. Their Question

  • 2 of these Women also had been seen looking on from afar off at the crucifixion seen: FOLLOWED HIM & MINISTERED UNTO HIM

Mark 15:40 — There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; Mr 15:41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.

These women visiting the tomb of Jesus that resurrection morning had received much in the way of liberty and healing at the minsitry of Jesus. These women had in times past showed their thankfulness by supporting Jesus financially, washing Jesus feet or whichever ways they were able.

Mark 15:47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.[Joses = Joseph]

At least two followed from the cross sceme and watched as they placed the body of Jesus in a rock-hewn sepulchre and sealed the entrance with a stone.

Knowing the door-way was sealed, after the Sabbath ended, early when it was yet dark, before the sun began to dawn on the the first day of the week, these women gathered each other together determined to minister one more time to their Lord by anointing/embalming His body with their sweet spices they had prepared (Luke 24:1).

As they made their way to the sepulchre, they wondered among themselves, Who..?

‭Mark 16:3 — And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?

  • This stone was a hinderance to their ministry. The stone was put there by other people. This stone was a symbol of obstinate unbelief. It was as foolish as

They could not do what was in their hearts and what they had prepared to do unless SOMEONE roll away the stone. These wome had learned something in their time following Jesus about FAITH.

Follow the call of God, trusting He will provide what is beyond us.

  • Mary at Can of Galilee, do everything what He says!
  • Cause the people to sit down. (5000 plus women and children hungry)
  • When dragged before the courts for my sake, take no thought what you will say.

III. The Scene They Found

  • The initial scene before the women (1)Mary Magdalene, 2) 'Other' Mary/Mother of James, 3) Salome)

Mark 16:4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

Luke 24:2 — And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

John 20:1 — The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

Matthew — 2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

God must have done it!

This stone did not hinder Jesus.

It was not removed for Christ's sake but for sake of the disicples to see that the tomb was empty.


1 John 5:4 — For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

Ps 94:16-18 — Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? 17 Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. 18 When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.