The on-loan Stoke City striker twice put the home side in front only for Martin Gritton and Francis Green to hit back for Macclesfield who were applauded by both sets of fans for the quality of their football.
Certainly there could be no complaints about the entertainment value in an absorbing open game in which both teams created enough chances to have won the match.
But in the end a draw was about right although it needed an impressive save from Barry Roche to deny the visitors a stoppage-time winner.
The game had started in explosive fashion with Rooney striking a close-range volley into the roof of the net after Jack Lester's cross to the back post had been headed down.
Macclesfield replied in kind with Green almost setting up Gritton four minutes later and then having a low shot deflected just wide in the 17th minute.
But a goal always looked like coming and it arrived in the 29th minute when Danny Thomas pulled the ball back from the left touchline and Gritton bundled it in at the back post.
He should have scored again two minutes later after some clever work from Terry Dunfield but Chesterfield re-discovered their rhythm after the break and Rooney diverted a low shot from Peter Leven past Tommy Lee in the 46th minute.
From then on Chesterfield had Macclesfield on the ropes but once again the visitors passed their way out of trouble and were level again in the 73rd minute.
The introduction of Simon Wiles made an impact and it was the substitute who played in Green on the right for the striker to finish with a low shot inside Roche's right-hand post.
Both teams could have snatched a winner in the closing minutes but a draw was the right result and Macclesfield can take heart from this performance.