Saturday, April 11, 2009


It was early Sunday morning after the crucifixion of Jesus and some of the women who had been his followers were on their way to the tomb where he had been laid late on Friday afternoon. As they walked together they worried, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” This was a problem. The stone was very large and it had been moved into its place sealing the tomb. They wanted to finish treating Jesus’ body because it had been done hurriedly on Friday. But the stone presented a barrier to their plan. For them, it was an immovable barrier. The stone blocked their way to Jesus. He had been their hope and they had devoted their lives to him. But now he was dead. Their hope of eternal life had been crushed when Jesus died on the Roman cross. The stone locked him into the tomb and it locked them out. It buried their hopes. The stone seemed to say, “The dead are dead and there is no escape from death!” Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead but now it was Jesus who was dead. Who was around to raise him? The stone presented them with a temporal problem because it prevented them from getting to Jesus. It was sealed by the authorities and it was guarded by Roman soldiers. But it also presented them with a spiritual problem. What now? What is their hope of heaven?

This is the same question that is addressed by all religions. What now? What about life after death? What about paradise? How can people have hope for life on the other side of the stone? Every religion tries to answer that question. Every religion tries to find a way around the stone that blocks the way to eternal life. Every religion asks the question, “Who will remove the stone that is blocking our way?”

When the women arrived at the tomb they were amazed! They found the stone already rolled away and there was an angel sitting on it! The removed stone is a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus. It speaks volumes about the uniqueness of Christianity. That stone which shut Jesus in and kept us out renews all our hopes and shows us the way to life eternal.

In much the same way the fact that the stone was rolled away from the tomb testifies to the fact that death no longer has any hold on us. Christ has broken down the wall that held us captive in sin and blocked us from eternal life. The stone is rolled away! The tomb is not the final resting place but an open door to enter into Christ’s presence! Jesus entered the tomb as a hostage of death. He had taken upon himself the sins of men at the cross and he was bound to pay sin’s price. His work was accomplished on the cross. He had cried out, “It is finished.” He lay in the tomb throughout the Sabbath but on the first day of the week he was raised and the stone was rolled away. It reminds us that the grave cannot hold those who are in Christ through faith. There is nothing that can hinder the child of God from rising to eternal life with Jesus. Our sin has been paid for. The stone has been rolled away. No authority, no government, nothing can bind us to the darkness of death and the grave. Let the stone remind us that we have a free path to eternal life!


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