Summary: I asked myself the question, “Why was that stone rolled away?” I hope to answer that this morning.
He Did It for Us
Resurrection Sunday / Resurrection of Jesus Christ
It is Resurrection morning and Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome are going to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus with oils. If you remember, on the day of His Crucifixion, because it was getting near dusk, the ladies did not have time to prepare the Jesus’ body before it was placed in the tomb.
And the Bible says as these three women were approaching the tomb, they asked this question among themselves: “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke and John, all tell us the stone is rolled away when the women arrived. It is Matthew and Mark that tell us an angel rolled away the stone. Luke and John only informs us that the stone was rolled away and does not specifically say that an angel rolled the stone away.
But as I kept looking at that Resurrection account in those four Gospels, the thing that struck me is that all four Gospel mentioned the stone rolled away. Obviously, each Gospel writer thought that stone being moved away was a significant event. So, I began asking myself the question, “Why was that stone rolled away?” I hope to answer that this morning. Please stand for the reading of God’s Word from Matthew 28:1-8.
Matthew 28:1–8 NKJV
Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”
So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.
The stone was rolled away not because Jesus needed the stone rolled away in order to come out of the grave.
My Bible tells me that nothing is impossible to God. If you and I found ourselves in a place where we could not get out, I imagine we would be knocking, banging, and screaming for someone to open up a way for us to get out. I don’t picture that happening with Jesus.
In the Gospel of John, the 20th chapter, Jesus appears to his disciples on that Resurrection evening by walking through a locked door. He went right through the door. He did not open the door; He went through the door. That same Jesus that went right through that door could have gone right through that stone that blocked the entrance. My Bible tells me nothing is impossible to God.
So, Jesus did not have to summons an angel to come from heaven to roll back the stone so He could get out. If the devil, in the wilderness temptation, admitted that Jesus could turn stone into bread, I don’t believe Jesus would have had any difficulty just speaking that stone away. I am quite sure that the angel that came from heaven did not come to get some exercise. So, the stone was rolled away for His followers at that time and for every generation thereafter.
Let me tell you why?
The stone was rolled away to prove that all Jesus said was true.
Let me you a couple of Scriptures:
Luke 9:22 (NIV)
22 And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."
Luke 18:31-33 (NIV)
31 Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.
32 He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him.
33 On the third day he will rise again."
And then on that Resurrection morning, the angel at the tomb spoke to the three women and said to them: Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’