By Published On: April 17th, 2022Categories: Leader Blog, Meditation for Preparation0 Comments

Let’s talk about rocks.

My husband loves rocks—geodes, quartz, obsidian, sandstone, lapis lazuli—and a host of others you probably have never heard of.  He studied them in college. He points them out on our walks. He loves a gem mine or a gem show.  Recently he purchased a rock that can only be found in a certain mine in Spain.  You could definitely say rocks are one of his favorite things.

Rocks are a pretty big deal in the Bible, too. There are at least 99 references to rocks (or stones) in Scripture.

  • God wrote His laws on stone tablets.
  • The Israelites set up ebenezers, stones of remembrance, at different times to mark where something special happened.
  • Time after time, God’s people built altars of rock.
  • David flung five smooth stones to win victory over Goliath.
  • In Psalms, God is our Rock.
  • Isaiah speaks of a “tested stone,” laid in Zion.
  • Daniel was trapped in the lion’s den by a stone set over the mouth of the den.
  • Jesus orders the stone removed from Lazarus’ tomb.
  • Jesus called Himself the “rejected stone” that becomes the Cornerstone. Peter also refers to Jesus as the “living Stone.”

But this is an Easter message.  Where are we going?

To the most fabulous stone of all–the one that rolled away, of course.

That terrible Friday had passed.  Jesus was dead.  The disciples fled into hiding, and it looked like all was lost.  Joseph claimed Jesus’ body and placed it in his own tomb with a heavy stone blocking the way in.  A stone too large for anyone to move on his own.  Certainly too much for Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” to move when they came to finish anointing the body behind it.  They worried on the way: “Who will roll away the stone for us?”  A seal had been placed on that big rock, and guards were stationed to make sure it stayed in front of the tomb.  Getting to Jesus would not be easy.

Maybe they rounded a corner.  Maybe they could see something was not quite right up ahead. Maybe they paused a moment, almost afraid to come forward.  The stone was moved.  The stone that should have blocked their way.  The stone that meant death had come to their Lord.  The seal had been broken.  The guards had “become like dead men.”  And the body of Jesus was gone.

Matthew reports that it was an “angel of the Lord” who rolled away the stone.  He did so to the thundering of an earthquake.  It seems the rocks had voices of their own that morning, calling out praises to the Son of God, who once again was free of the tomb.

It was no small thing, the stone rolling away.  It meant that Jesus had power over death.  It meant that the punishment He had suffered was over; the atonement was complete.  It meant that Love was roaming the earth yet again.  It meant the beginning of a new order, one in which disciples would be suddenly braver, wiser, bolder. It means all these things today, for us.  Because Jesus has power over death, He controls your life and your resurrection.  Because the punishment is finished, your future is not frightening.  Because Jesus roamed about and saw many, many people, you can have assurance that this is a true story, and you can be braver, wiser, and bolder now, too.

The rocks of scripture that came before the Easter morning stone were something like the stepping stones that lead to a house.  The tablets God gave Moses set up the law that Jesus would have to fulfill.  The ebenezers said, “Remember.  Miracles can happen.”  The altars of rock where sacrifices were made foretold a sacrifice that would forever satisfy the Father’s holy requirements.  David’s stones took out an enemy just as Jesus defeated our greatest enemy.  Our Solid Rock cannot be trapped. He is a life-giver, the foundation of our lives.  Praise the Living Christ!

In my bedroom there is a jar of stones.  I’ve painted things on these stones, code words to indicate blessings that I consider miraculous.  My children, my marriage, healings, job changes, a friend’s salvation, etc.  These stones help me remember that the miracles will keep coming even when I die.  But no stone is so precious to me as the stone that rolled away.  Because that stone moved, one day a flurry of stones and marble slabs will roll away, and bodies will rise, renewed and headed for eternity with Jesus.  Oh, glorious day!

Happy Easter, North Wake!  Your Savior lives!!

 

*Credit must be given to Charles Spurgeon for so much help working through this topic.  To read his sermon on the stone that rolled away, go to this link: https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/the-stone-rolled-away/#flipbook/