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I don't know if you've ever felt so down that you just wanted to quit. Or, if you've ever looked around at your circumstances and thought, "There is just no way out of this situation." But if you have, you can understand the kind of "no-way-out" emotional dilemma that the disciples experienced the day after the crucifixion of Jesus.

They were flat depressed! After all, things didn't exactly look good for their new religion, Christianity. Jesus was dead. It looked like big bad Rome had won. The stinking Pharisees had finally got their way. Jesus, the Son of God, was beaten by a bunch of dim-witted, religious guys who just wouldn't give up their old way of doing things.

For Jesus' followers, things just couldn't get any worse. Apart from the spiritual aspect of their situation, they also had a real, economic problem. Bottom line? They were out of a job.

It wasn't smart to broadcast the news that you lost your last job because your boss was executed for committing blasphemy against the government. No, the disciple's situation didn't look or sound good in the natural.

So, what happens when a man's back is against the wall like that? What does he do when his hopes are in the dirt and he has nothing left to believe in? He does his best to forget what made him leave his old job in the first place.

For Peter, that meant putting aside his calling to catch men and getting back to catching fish. Let me tell you something, this was a serious personal crisis for the disciples. You sure don't read too much about their strong faith during these couple of days.

But thank God, someone did keep the faith during this bleak point in the history of Christianity. Who was it? Was it one of the disciples? One of the lame men Jesus had healed? One of the lepers maybe? No. It was a bunch of women.

Extraordinary Women
You have to hand it to them. The women who followed Jesus were extraordinary. They loved Jesus and wouldn't quit serving Him even after His death. In Mark 16:1-11 it says:
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. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, "Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?" And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were frightened. And he saith unto them, "Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
Weak Faith and Strong Love
I'd like to talk about one part of this passage that I find metaphorical for some of the problems we face today. "Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?" (v. 3). Their question was one of weak faith and strong love. Their love was strong enough to get them to the tomb. They loved Jesus so much. But their faith was too weak to remove the stone. They wondered just who would remove the obstacle that kept them from being with the Master.

The Stone-Rolling Power of the Resurrection
Before Jesus came into my life, I was dead to salvation, dead to joy and peace. There was a huge stone of sin and addiction keeping me in the grave. But in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1974, God rolled away the stone! I was able to step right out of the filth of sin and into the pure, blood-bought righteousness of Jesus Christ! I rose from the dead!

It takes strong faith to believe that we rose when Jesus rose, but it is the truth. But if you receive that truth into your heart, it will set you free! When Jesus said, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth," (Matt. 28:18) those weren't empty words. They were illustrating His Father's power - the same power that was used to send Him into the earth to be born of a virgin.

It is the same power that hung the sins of the world on His body at the cross. And it is the very same power that resurrected His body from the dead. Victory over addiction, depression and every other diabolical thing sin brought into this earth was given to you the day Jesus rose from the dead!

We got the victory when Jesus paid the price! That is the stone-rolling power of the resurrection. And that is more than enough to roll your stone away.

Jesus Changed Death Forever
Do you know why I serve Jesus? Because He's alive and what He did, no man has ever done.

Yes, the virgin birth was phenomenal, but I think rising from the dead is harder. After all, with an Immaculate Conception you're dealing with a living body. But when you're dead, you're dead. But the power of God raised Jesus from the dead.

Jesus changed death forever. It's no longer a closing of life, it's just an event in life. The power of resurrection gives you the ability to explain death.

Think about that. As far as I can tell, everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. Do you know why? Let's just be honest, I think it's because it looks like it hurts! I heard Billy Graham say that he looks forward to death, but not the process of dying. I like that.

Sure, nobody looks forward to the death process, but because Jesus was resurrected, we never have to be separated from God again - not on earth or after death. We just move out of the weight of this body into the glorious presence of God!

Salvation assures us that we will never experience what it's like to have your life "end." It's the power of the resurrection of Christ that ensures our eternal fellowship with God in Heaven.

Jesus is alive. He came to earth born of a virgin. His life was the perfect example for us to pattern our own lives by. He gave His life as a sacrifice to redeem mankind. He took the keys to hell, death and the grave and upon His resurrection, forever changed the world.

Now, Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for you and for me. And He's planning His return. The work has been done. Jesus is risen! Step out of captivity and into your blood-bought freedom. Your stone has been rolled away.

Copyright © Jesse Duplantis Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Jesse Duplantis
Web site: Jesse Duplantis Ministries
Jesse Duplantis is a dynamic evangelist who has traveled throughout the world since 1978 preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the founder of Jesse Duplantis Ministries (JDM), which has its International Headquarters in America and additional offices in the United Kingdom and Australia.

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