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COMMENTARY

COMMENTARY
English
Gospel according to Matthew
Gospel according to Mark
Gospel according to Luke
Gospel according to John
Acts of the Apostles
Epistle to the Romans

German
Die Offenbarung des Johannes

Arabic
إنجيل المسيح حسب متى
إنجيل المسيح حسب مرقس
إنجيل المسيح حسب لوقا
إنجيل المسيح حسب يوحنا
أعمال الرسل
رسالة إِلى أهل رومية
رسالة إِلى أهل غلاطية
رسالة إِلى أهل فيلبي
رسالة إلى أهل كولوسي
رسالة إلى العبرانيين
رسالة يعقوب
رؤيا يوحنا

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1. The Women Perplexed About the Stone At the Door of the Tomb
(Mark 16:1-4)
1   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.

The Jews regarded the Sabbath a day of rest, refreshment, and complete cessation of all ordinary work, toil, and struggle. They considered all acts during this symbol of the covenant with God as a blasphemy, which deserved death. Jesus accepted this command of the old covenant, and rested on the seventh day of his ministry of redemption of the world. God himself rested from his great creation on the seventh day.
Yet, the disciples remained afraid and hopeless. They were afraid of being condemned with rejection and execution by the nation for having followed Jesus who was counted by the chiefs of the people as a deceiver and blasphemer. They did not appear in the roads or marketplaces, but they closed the doors against themselves, for fear of the Jews, as if they were in warfare.
The women also could not act according to the custom as regards the body of Jesus, because of the orders of the Sabbath. Therefore, they went very early, on Sunday morning, at break of day, to the marketplace, and bought sweet spices, and valuable perfumed oils. They sacrificed their saved money to honor the Holy One. All their thoughts were concentrated on the death that pounced upon the divine Master and Prophet.
The women who hurried very early on Sunday were the same women who attended at the cross on Friday, out of whom was Mary Magdalene out of whom Jesus had cast seven demons, also the mother of the apostles John and James, and others.
Carried by a holy zeal, to seek Christ diligently, they went out from the guarded door of the city, and reached the tomb at sunrise, as a symbol of all those who seek Christ diligently, as is written: “Those that seek me early shall find me.”
In spite of their love to the sleeping Jesus, they cared about the large, round stone at the door of the tomb, which was sealed by the Roman guards, for they were unable to move that stone, even if they tried with their united strength. As such, we often think of an irremovable burden, and find no solution for the problem.
When the women arrived at the tomb of Jesus, they found that the large, heavy stone was rolled away, as if the merciful God had heard their moaning and sent an angel who opened their way to Jesus. As such, God is often ashamed of the weak faith of his pious people that he answers their prayers even before they see the great event.
However, the women did not sense the great event on that day. They neither expected the great miracle, nor went down hopelessly on the level of death. They had not yet recognized the life of God, but they sought Jesus, and were willing to serve him. They set out in the right path, and reached the promised goal.
In every age and religion, we find faithful seekers of God, who suffer in thought and in deed to find the great, unknown God. They do not recognize that he is present and active without their dead rituals. Their worries and efforts are worldly, and humanly limited, for the grace of God was triumphant in accomplishing the final and full salvation of all who returned to God.

 

Prayer:   O Holy God, we thank you because you answered the worries of the women, and blessed their search for Christ. Forgive us our human worries, even if we sank in religious cares. Be merciful to us as long as we are in the shadow of death. Enlighten our spiritual insight. Lead us always in the procession of your triumph, and let the heavy stone of death be rolled away from the hearts of our friends in our surroundings and faraway. Amen.

 

Question:

106. What is the significance of the stone, which was rolled away from the door of the tomb?

 

 

Table of contents

PREFACE

PART 1
THE PRELIMINARY PERIOD IN THE MINISTRY OF CHRIST
(MATTHEW 1:1 - 4:25)

PART 2
CHRIST TEACHES AND MINISTERS IN GALILEE
(MATTHEW 5:1 - 11:1)

PART 3
THE UNBELIEVING JEWS AND THEIR ENMITY TO JESUS
(MATTHEW 11:2-18:35)

PART 4
JESUS’ MINISTRY IN THE JORDAN VALLEY DURING HIS JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM
(MATTHEW 19:1 - 20:34)

PART 5
JESUS’ LAST MINISTRIES IN JERUSALEM
(MATTHEW 21:1 - 25:46)

PART 6
CHRIST’S SUFFEINGS AND DEATH
(MATTHEW 26:1-27:66)

PART 7
THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
(MATTHEW 28:1-20)

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