Summary: He could have changed the stone. He should have thrown the stone. He did roll back the stone.
Rocks are an often-overlooked part of the landscape after all, they don't move in the breeze or blossom into pretty flowers, but rocks can actually be interesting pieces of scenery and have some neat stories or history attached to them.
Here, in no particular order, are five of the most famous rocks in the world:
#1 Plymouth Rock
Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts is said to mark the spot where William Bradford and the pilgrims who founded Plymouth Colony disembarked from the Mayflower. It is stamped with the date of their arrival in the new world, 1620.
#2 The Blarney Stone
The Blarney Stone is a chunk of bluestone in the battlements of Blarney Castle, which is about 5 miles east from Cork, Ireland. Legend has it that kissing the stone will bring one the gift of eloquence and the ability to speak well. The world "blarney" has come to mean "skillful flattery."
#3 The Rock of Gibraltar
The Rock of Gibraltar is a hulking 397-foot-high limestone that looks out over the Strait of Gibraltar, the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea. The Rock of Gibraltar was one of the Roman Pillars of Hercules and also happens to be the logo of the Prudential Insurance Company… “Get a piece of the rock.”
#4 Ayer’s Rock
Ayer's Rock is sandstone that towers over the flat expanse of the Australian Outback 280 miles southwest of Alice Springs and is 1,142 feet above the ground. It is also known by its Aboriginal name, Uluru. It is the world's largest monolith (a massive formation composed of a single rock or stone) and a sacred site to the native Anangu or Aboriginal people. It is also listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
#5 The Rosetta Stone
The Rosetta Stone is a fragment of an ancient Egyptian stone slab that bears a decree issued by a council of priests on the anniversary of the coronation King Ptolemy V in three scripts: ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, Egyptian demotic script and ancient Greek A French expedition to Egypt found the stone in 1799 and enabled Egyptian hieroglyphs to be translated. The stone weighs about 1,700 pounds and is in the British Museum.
There are others: The Stone of Destiny in Scotland, Stonehenge in England, the statues on Easter Island in the Pacific, and even Stone Mountain in Georgia among many others.
This morning we will be focusing on three stones in the Bible, but they are not exactly famous. The stones don’t have names and I don’t think we would recognize any of them if we saw a picture of them, but these stones do help us understand Jesus Christ and encourage us in our faith.
Here is a summary of our thoughts this morning…
He could have changed the stone.
He should have thrown the stone.
He did roll back the stone.
HE COULD HAVE CHANGED THE STONE
Let’s read about the first stone.
READ MATTHEW 4:1-4
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But He answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”
In the life of Jesus, He had just been baptized by John the Baptist and a voice from heaven said, “This is My Son, with Whom I am well pleased.” God gave His Divine stamp of approval on Jesus and told everyone Who Jesus was. What a mountaintop experience! All of that happened at the end of chapter 3.
Chapter 4 begins with the Holy Spirit leading Jesus into the desert and He fasts and faces off against Satan… the tempter… the accuser… the devil… in temptations. This is not the only time in Jesus’ life that He was tempted by the way, but this passage does give us a look into the temptations of Jesus. Hebrews 4:15 says about Jesus, “For we do not have a high priest Who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
The end of verse 2 shares with us that Jesus is definitely a human being because He is hungry. He had been fasting and living in the desert. I imagine His body becoming weak and His emotions maybe even being unsettled which is right when the tempter decides to show up.
* The tempter comes to Jesus and calls Him by the same title as God did at the end of chapter 3.