Daily Reformation, Mark 16:1-8
From the Reformer
“And they said among themselves.” Mark alone expresses this doubt; but as the other Evangelists relate that the stone was rolled away by the angel, it may easily be inferred, that they remained in perplexity and doubt as to what they should do, until the entrance was opened up by the hand of God. But let us learn from this, that in consequence of having been carried away by their zeal, they came there without due consideration. They had seen a stone placed before the sepulcher, to hinder any one from entering. Why did not this occur to them, when they were at home and at leisure, but because they were seized with such fear and astonishment, that thought and recollection failed them? But as it is a holy zeal that blinds them, God does not charge them with this fault.
—John Calvin, Commentary on Matthew, Mark, Luke
Pulling It Together
Death seems to be a “very big” barrier. It is, so many think, the end of things, and so it did to the disciples. The stone was rolled into place, sealing the tomb, and that was the end of the matter. Their Rabbi was dead. Gone. Still, some would care for the body. Upon arriving at the tomb, wondering who could let them in, they discovered the door of death had been opened, the way had been cleared for them to access life beyond the grave. They thought the stone had barred them from their Lord but instead the Stumbling Stone (Rm 9:33) himself became for them, and for you, and for as many as will believe, the Way and the Truth and the Life (Jn 14:6)—the Gate of God.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers