Summary: "WHY WAS THE STONED ROLLED AWAY?" AND "FOR WHOM WAS THE STONED ROLLED AWAY FOR?" Was it rolled away for Jesus? No, he was already gone. And besides, the risen Son of God doesn’t need anyone to do anything for Him. So who was the stone rolled away for?
The Stone is Rolled Away
It was dark as they arose that Sunday morning.
The two got up and put on their garments, grabbed their spices and headed out on the dirt road that leads out of the city.
As they headed out on the road, and as the sun began to rise, the path was lined with many dark shadows, but no shadow or darkness could compare with the darkness that hovered over their souls.
As they walked up the path towards the tomb, thoughts and sights of the last week ripped through their minds like violent tornados.
They had been there when Jesus rode in on the colt, before thousands shouting his praises.
What an incredible moment that was.
But unfortunately, in their minds, the events of last week didn’t stop there.
Try as they might, they couldn’t stop those other thoughts, those terrible scenes from playing out again and again in their minds.
They saw Jesus tied to a post, and a Roman scourge filled with broken pieces of pottery, glass and bones ripping across His back.
As they recalled the purple robe, the beatings, the cruel mocking and the crown of thorns, the tears began to flow again.
They had seen it all; they had seen Jesus, their teacher, their friend, their Lord; they had witnessed everything that Jesus went through.
And these two women, these two Mary’s (Mary of Magdala and Mary the mother of James) were there at the cross.
They saw Jesus hanging there on that rough cross of wood.
They saw His body struggle and wince with pain with every breath that he took.
They were there when Jesus cried out, "ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI, MY GOD MY GOD WHY HAS THOU FORSAKEN ME," and they saw his head fall as he cried; "IT IS FINISHED."
They where there when Jesus died, and when he died they died to.
Oh they were still alive physically, but their hopes and joy died on that cross with Jesus, on that dark Friday, nearly 2,100 years ago.
Their Lord was dead, and their hope was gone.
So what are they doing up so early on this Sunday morning?
Why aren’t they lying in bed, wallowing in their misery?
What was it that drove them from their beds before dawn, and put them on this dark up hill climb?
The thing that drove them was their love and devotion to Jesus.
Someone had to prepare the body for burial and no one else had volunteered; Peter didn’t, James didn’t, neither did John.
So it was up to these two faithful followers; two women who had never left the side of Jesus, who were with Him until the end.
It was up to them to do it, and they did.
The task they were going to perform was a somber task, a difficult task.
They would be the ones, who would wipe the blood from the brow, from the legs, from the sides.
They would be the ones, to clean the blood from the body of Jesus.
They would be the ones, to remove the blood that had matted in his beard.
They would be the last ones, to touch his face and close His eyes.
And as they were nearing the tomb, suddenly there was a problem, something they hadn’t thought of until now, entered their minds and they said to each other, "MARY, WHO IS GOING TO REMOVE THE STONE? HOW CAN WE GET INSIDE TO JESUS IF THE STONE IS IN THE WAY?"
"AND SUDDENLY THERE WAS A VIOLENT EARTHQUAKE, FOR AN ANGEL OF THE LORD CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, AND GOING TO THE TOMB, ROLLED BACK THE STONE AND SAT ON IT. HIS APPEARANCE WAS LIKE LIGHTENING, AND HIS CLOTHES WERE WHITE AS SNOW. THE GUARDS WERE SO AFRAID OF HIM THAT THEY SHOOK LIKE DEAD MEN. THE ANGEL SAID TO THE WOMEN, "DO NOT BE AFRAID, FOR I KNOW THAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR JESUS, WHO IS CRUCIFIED. HE IS NOT HERE; HE HAS RISEN, JUST AS HE SAID. COME AND SEE THE PLACE WHERE HE LAY. THEN GO QUICKLY AND TELL HIS DISCIPLES, AND PETER: `HE HAS RISEN FROM THE DEAD AND IS GOING AHEAD OF YOU INTO GALILEE. THERE YOU WILL SEE HIM.’ NOW I HAVE TOLD YOU."
There is something I had never thought about before, that is until it was pointed out to me.
Maybe you have never asked yourself these questions either.
"WHY WAS THE STONED ROLLED AWAY?" AND "FOR WHOM WAS THE STONED ROLLED AWAY FOR?"
Was it rolled away for Jesus?
No, he was already gone.
And besides, the risen Son of God doesn’t need anyone to do anything for Him.
So who was the stone rolled away for?
It was rolled away for the women, so they could see that the tomb was empty.