Summary: The stone was not rolled away from the tomb to let Jesus out, but to let us in. We have many stones that block us from experiencing the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. We need to roll those stones away.
Philippians 3:10-11 (NLT)
"I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I want to suffer with Him, sharing in His death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!"
This morning we come here to celebrate the most glorious day in human history.
We come to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We celebrate this morning the same way as those who went to the tomb early that first Easter morning.
In each of the four gospels, it tells the events of that morning and they all have one thing in common.
When the women arrived at the tomb, there saw that the stone that blocked the entrance had been rolled away.
Scripture is very specific in the details of this event..We know the who, the what, the when, and the where.
>Who rolled away the stone? An angel of the Lord
>What was rolled away? A large stone
>When was the stone rolled away? Early in the morning on the third day
>Where was the stone that was rolled away? Blocking the tomb in which Jesus was laid
There is still one question that remains unanswered...and that’s the Why.
>Why was the stone rolled away?
Some say it’s because Jesus arose from the dead and was trapped in the tomb…He needed a way out.
But that’s truly not right at all…Jesus didn’t need the stone moved out of the way to leave the tomb.
As a matter of fact, Jesus was already out of the tomb before the stone was moved.
Matthew 28:1-6 (NLT)
"Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint. Then the angel spoke to the women. 'Don’t be afraid!' he said. 'I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where His body was lying.'"
Plus, there’s more – Later that day, Jesus demonstrated the power of the resurrection.
John 20:19-20 (NLT)
"That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! 'Peace be with you,' He said. As He spoke, He showed them the wounds in His hands and His side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!
The disciples were meeting behind locked doors and yet Jesus still appeared – He didn’t need a door to enter.
If Jesus appeared in a room without using the door, surely He could leave the tomb with the stone still in place?
The simple truth is: The stone was not rolled away for Jesus to come out, but for others to go in.
With the stone out of the way, Mary and the others were able to enter the tomb to see that Jesus wasn’t there.
They could see the empty spot where His body had laid and were able to witness the power of the resurrection.
The stone was gone and they could see that Jesus is alive...They experienced the power of the resurrection.
We too can experience the power of the resurrection, but we must first roll away the stones standing in our way.
We each have stones that block our way of experiencing the resurrection power of Jesus Christ.
>What stones are blocking your way and keeping you from experiencing that the resurrection power?
>Here are just a few stones...
>Unforgiveness – Are you holding a grudge against someone someone who has hurt you or done you wrong?
Let the resurrection power of Jesus Christ free you from that burden. Roll away the stone!
>Guilt – Is there sin in your past you can’t let go of which causes you to feel unworthy of God’s forgiveness?
Confess your sin to God and let His resurrection power set you free. Roll away the stone!
>Doubt & Fear – Do you at feel unsure of God’s presence in your life...maybe you feel He’s abandoned you?
Pray and feel His presence, for He hasn’t left you...you’ve left Him. Roll away the stone!
>Pride – This is the most powerful stone of all...Do ever feel like you can live your own life with no help at all?
Humble yourself before God, for most times you’re the stone blocking the way. Roll away the stone!
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.”