And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock;
and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.
Suddenly there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord
descended from heaven, rolled away the stone, and sat on it.. . .
But the angel said to the women, “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.
A stone placed in front of the tomb’s entrance where Jesus was laid.
A stone removed from the tomb’s entrance where Jesus no longer laid.
The stone told two different stories. A story of death. A story of resurrection.
In a few days we will be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. A powerful story. A story powerful enough to move stones.
When Jesus died on the cross, sin was conquered. However, His followers were still overcome with sadness and mourning. The stone in front of the tomb reminded them of death. On the third day, the removed stone shouted resurrection life. The displaced stone revealed an empty grave. Life had overcome death. Jesus was alive!
A stone could not keep Jesus in the grave. No stone could stand against God’s resurrection power. The resurrection of Christ was a glorious manifestation of Divine power.
In Six Hours One Friday, Max Lucado writes, “Stones have never stood in God’s way.”
Lucado alludes to more than the stone at Jesus’ grave. His comment can also refer to stumbling stones in our lives. We may feel like a wrong choice we’ve made has become a stone blocking Jesus’ entering our lives. Let us remember that God is more powerful than any stumbling block we may create. God desires to use what we consider stumbling stones to be stepping stones to draw us closer to Him.
God removes our stumbling stones. Then we become living stones. I Peter 2:4-5 says, “As you come to Him (the Lord), the living Stone – rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to Him – you also, like living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
According to I Corinthians 6.14, “God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.” Notice carefully, Jesus was raised from the dead AND this same power is available to us.
Let us personalize Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
May we also remember Romans 8.11, “If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
So, let us proclaim the words of I Corinthians 15:57 NLT, “But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
No more stones! He has risen! He has risen, indeed!