A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Who will roll away the stone?

When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large.
(Mark 16:1-4)

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.  And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.  But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.
(Matthew 28:1-6)

The stone was very large, much too large for the women to move; but God rolled it away. He used an earthquake and an angel to accomplish what had seemed, to the women, to be an insurmountable task. How wonderful of God to use both natural and supernatural means to relieve the women’s anxiety about how to shift the stone that blocked their access to the Lord’s body.

What a deep metaphor for those of us who are wondering anxiously how to move big stones so we can be free of our abusers and be able to fellowship with the true Body of Christ in the bond of peace, rather than being held in constraint and fear by the stony, unyielding, coercive control of an abuser.


  1. healingInHim

    Barbara. The timing of this post is remarkable. I was just praying, wondering where I belong in God’s big picture. Yes, I trust HIM but the decisions seem overwhelming because I just don’t know where I belong because so much of my identity has been taken away. Terms as insurmountable and overwhelming are nothing to a mighty Savior. Although I’ve taken natural steps to move forward, my weakened state has me pleading for a supernatural answer to prayer that will make it so very clear as to where He is leading me.
    Blessings to everyone this Resurrection Day!

  2. Seeing Clearly

    In this past week, I have experienced a wide spectrum of emotions. And I am thankful to say that none of them scared me. It has been encounters with the natural and supernatural. As well as attending services in the church where I am a member, I also worshipped through the week in a different denomination’s church that drew me deeply through symbolism, music and words. It has been a rich time.

    Many of my greatest struggles in my life, have occurred during the last few months. So this week I have remembered many scenarios. Thankfully, I have not re-experienced the pain [in toto] — there are many difficult emotions that have been stirred, but not the exact experience over. I am so thankful for this.

    One of my favorite songs that originates in a very difficult experiential memory is, There is a Savior [Internet Archive link]1. For me, the Holy Week would have so much less meaning if I had not walked many miles of difficult road.

    An earthquake and an angel

    So much power and so much beautiful servant hood.

    [Eds: Comment edited slightly for clarity and to disidentify.]

    1[May 21, 2022: We added a link to the lyrics for There Is a Savior. The Internet Archive link is a copy of the link. Editors.]

  3. bright sunshinin' day

    Beautiful and encouraging, Barb! You said, “How wonderful of God to use both natural and supernatural means to relieve the women’s anxiety about how to shift the stone that blocked their access to the Lord’s body.” It is symbolic of the God who CAN do above and beyond what we ask or think!!! He IS risen and trustworthy!

  4. Anotheranon

    Amen, Barbara! HealinginHIm, wonderful comment.
    Let us have the courage and wisdom God intends for us as His precious children.

  5. cindy burrell

    Amen, Barb.

    Like many here, I have witnessed God’s miraculous intervention, both in my life and in the lives of so many others who have felt alone and afraid and uncertain. We must never forget the One who holds the universe together with a word. He will continue to speak into and perform His will in the lives of those of us who trust Him. Just as He did on this day so long ago, He continues to make His presence known!

  6. Innoscent

    Barb, I am feeling encouraged and inspired today by those Scriptures. 🙂
    For us victims we have had our life highjacked by abusers and dwelling in a tomb like environment instead of a warm Christian home. Blessed be the Lord who frees us and rises us to a new life!

  7. Brenda R

    Beautiful. God continues to roll the stones away.

  8. Seeing Clearly

    God relieved these women of their anxiety by rolling the stone away. And then we who are seeking a way out as well, receive another beautiful reason for hope. Jesus spoke first to these women in kindness and compassion. Jesus showed up! Not to those who misuse power, but to those who have been broken and continue in faith in meet their Savior. A continuance of anxiety relief.

    • Yes, and when God moved the stone, those in the pay of the tyrants were terrified.

      And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.
      (Matthew 28:2-4)

  9. Seeing Clearly

    There is more divine and human activity in these few verses than I ever realized before. I am going to enjoy these verses for quite a while now. There is a deeper happiness settling in. And a peacefulness. I guess that describes less anxiety.

  10. Finding Answers

    Matthew 28:5 New Matthew Bible (NMB)

    (5) The angel spoke and said to the women, Fear not: I know that you seek Jesus, who was crucified.

    The search for Jesus sometimes asks questions leading us into the empty tomb. For a time, we are in darkness, bereft and grieving. Where is He, that we may keen out our last respects, weep as we prepare His body.

    Not until we exit the tomb do we find the answers. Not until we exit the tomb do we see Him. Not until we exit the tomb can we experience His resurrection.

    We can stop keening. We can stop weeping.

    The “Fear not” becomes the harder task.

    The seeking continues…but now we have the indwelling Holy Spirit.

    Jesus the Christ becomes much easier to find.

    • This comment is superb. Thank you Finding Answers.

      • Finding Answers

        And thank you, Barb, for rolling away the stone.

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