What is it that limits your life? What is it that keeps you from becoming the person you had hoped to become? What keeps you from doing what you long to do and accomplishing what you desire to accomplish?
Why do you feel inadequate? What is keeping you in the prison of defeat? Are you struggling with the impossibilities of life? Does your situation seem hopeless? Have your circumstances put limitations on your life?
On the morning of the resurrection of Jesus, Mark’s Gospel tells us, three women were on their way to the tomb. They had just lived through the darkest day that they had ever experienced. Yet there was a love that drove them to take spices to the tomb of Jesus to anoint Him. On the way, their conversation was filled with hopelessness and negative words as they asked, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” The obstacle to which they were referring was a massive stone that was rolled over the doorway of the tomb, and these women knew that they could not possibly move that stone themselves.
They faced the IMPOSSIBILITY of rolling away the stone. In addition, there was the Roman seal that represented the highest authority on earth, and to break it would mean certain death. Then there were the guards stationed at the tomb — soldiers who symbolized the power of the ruling government.
Mark 16:4 says, “But when they [the three women] LOOKED UP, they saw the stone had been rolled away.” The Roman seal was broken (yet, strangely, no one was ever put to death for disturbing it). The guards were gone. Resurrection power had shattered the grave and the power of heaven had rolled the stone away. And the angel declared, “He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.”
Yet many of us are still grappling with the stones that keep us under the limitations and impossibilities of life. Those stones that limit us from knowing the “exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe” (Ephesians 1:19). This is why Paul prays for the Christians at Ephesus — a prayer that applies to us as well, by the way — that believers would be given the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of their hearts enlightened, that they might KNOW. The word “know” in the original Greek signifies more than mere intellectual knowledge; it literally means “experiential knowledge.”
In this particular passage, Paul is praying for three specific things: 1) the hope to which He has called us; 2) the riches of the glory of His inheritance in us; and 3) the knowledge of the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe. We need to start “looking up” and realize that the exceeding greatness of His power has already rolled those stones away!
When the eyes of our understanding are illuminated, we will see that the stone has been rolled away so that we can KNOW that death has been defeated! The whole human race is held under the bondage of death. But Jesus, by His death, “has destroyed him who had the power of death, that is the devil; and released those who through fear of death were all their life subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14).
Death keeps you in bondage. It is more than the physical cessation of life — it is separation from life. Fear, insecurity, despair, loneliness, separation, hopelessness, discouragement, anger, resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness — all of these things produce death in our personality, in our relationships, and in our witness of the Resurrected Christ.
By His death and resurrection, Christ has been established as the Highest Authority in heaven and earth, as He now has all power over all things. Those stones of impossibility have been rolled away. And “the exceeding greatness of His power toward us” is at work to redeem and transform every circumstance that we encounter, causing each event to work for our spiritual good.
In every trial and battle, Christ is with us! And because of His resurrection power, we become stronger in the very conflicts through which Satan meant to weaken us. God promises that the exceeding greatness of His power will prosper us in the very battle and limitation that the devil sought to use to destroy us!