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By Mark Finley of It Is Written Television (www.iiw.org)

Sermon 4 Outline

“God Still Moves Stones”

The Resurrection story speaks of a God of the unexpected. The empty tomb speaks of a
God of new beginnings.

I. The story of the two Marys.

It is just an ordinary day. As the sun rises in the morning, the two Marys quickly hasten
toward the place of His burial to perform a common task. It isn’t hope that leads the
women up the mountain to the tomb that dark Sunday morning, it is duty. (John 20:1)
Their service is motivated by love; they desire nothing in return.

God is watching. God notices! He sees their tears. He knows their commitment. He
honors their faithful service. The God of the unexpected is about to do something
incredible. As the two Marys approach the tomb, they are amazed.

“An angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from
the door.” (Matthew 28:1, 2)

There are times when we, too, are expected to love, expecting nothing in return. Kindness
for kindness’ sake––service for service’s sake. There are times we are called to come
early and stay late when no one else notices. If your motivation in doing something is to
receive thanks, then when they don’t say thanks, will you stop doing it? There are times
when we do a task simply because it needs to be done.

II. Unexpected Miracles

God can work unexpected miracles for those who trust Him. Those who, in spite of
disappointment, go about their duty doing what they know to be right.

Why did the angels move the stone? Not so Jesus could get out, but so Mary could look
in. Jesus didn’t say before His Resurrection, “Please, I am in here. Someone let me out.”
Jesus could have walked out. Christ longs to show His unexpected miracles.

“...you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and
nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)
“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

There are no dead ends with God––only mazes that lead to treasures at the end, and only
pathways that lead to new opportunities.

III. The Christ of new beginnings.

Christ is risen! The tomb becomes a tunnel. The grave becomes the doorway to

“He is risen.” (Matthew 28:6)

New beginnings for his followers.

New beginnings for Peter

From fisherman to preacher

New beginnings for Matthew

From tax collector to Gospel-writer

New beginnings for Thomas

From doubter to missionary to India

New beginnings for Mary

Broken-hearted woman to loving matriarch in the church

New beginnings for all believers

Something to sing about!

New beginnings for you and me

Hallelujah! Christ is risen!

Let the risen Christ turn your common, ordinary day into an unexpected blessing.
Let God move the stones and obstacles in your way. Let Him turn your impossibilities
into possibilities.
Let God turn your tombs into tunnels, your endings into beginnings.