Rev. Dr. George Hancock-Stefan

The Gospel of Mark introduces the story of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ with these words: “When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome brought spices so that they might go and anoint Jesus’s body. Very early on the first day of the week after sunrise, they were on the way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb?’” Perhaps in their sorrow they forgot that, after the stone was placed on the tomb, it was also sealed with the Roman seal and soldiers were placed to guard it so that the body of Christ will not be stolen.

Throughout life, we will all encounter stones, boulders, and obstacles that make us ask, “Who is able to move this?” For the women on that Easter morning, there were a number of small stones and large stones – they were not able to finish the required burial preparation for the body of Jesus Christ, their beloved teacher was dead, and the heavy stone was hindering their plans. Nevertheless, they were convinced that they needed to do their part. They were close to the place where Abraham brought Isaac as a sacrifice and God provided a ram instead of Isaac. Abraham named the mountain “where God will provide.”

As the women worried about how they would move the stone, God answered their inquiry in a spectacular way: “There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, and going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning and his clothes were while as snow. Then the angel told them, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, he has risen just as he said. Come see the place where he lay. Then go and quickly tell his disciples: He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee.’” (Matthew 28:2-7)

In the 21st century, one of the great obstacles to becoming a Christian is believing in miracles. We are told that the modern man cannot believe in miracles such as Christ walking on water, feeding the multitude, healing by touching or speaking, and raising people from the dead. People believe in Jesus as a dead historical figure, not as a living deity who could do impossible things.


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In response to these obstacles to belief, Apostle Paul (who initially did not believe in the resurrection) writes this to the Ephesians: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work in us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever! Amen.” God can do immeasurably more than we ask for or imagine. Resurrection is not something that we can do in our power, but God has no such problems. He could raise Jesus Christ from the dead and He will do that for us when the Lord Jesus Christ comes back for in glory to take with him those who believed in His resurrection and are waiting his return.


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George Hancock-Stefan

Pastor George Hancock-Stefan completed 30 years as the pastor of the great congregation at Central Baptist Church in Atlantic Highlands in 2020. Those 30 years have been a blessed time for him, his wife...