Sometime after Jesus cried out His final words on a Friday afternoon, the lifeless body of Jesus was removed from the cross. His work in bringing about man’s salvation was complete, “It is finished,” was His cry. Once removed, it was a man named Joseph who would make the request to Pilate for the Savior’s body and have it granted. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where it was laid (Mark 15:47) and it was these women that would prepare spices for a proper burial and planned to return first thing Sunday morning. The only trouble they could see in their plan was getting that large stone removed so they could enter in and be with the Lord’s body.
It must have been quite a conversation on the way to the tomb that Sunday morning. Who was going to move the stone? (Mark 16:3) What a shock for them to see their worry be for nothing! The stone was already moved and entrance into the tomb was unobstructed. Someone has said, “God didn’t roll away the stone to let Jesus out, but to let the disciples in.” Doesn’t it seem the evidence would support this statement?
In Luke 4:28-30, Jesus simply passed through an angry mob that was ready to throw Him off a cliff. They had no way of stopping Him. After His resurrection, John records that Jesus appeared in a room occupied by His disciples with a closed door. They assumed it must have been a spirit until they felt His hands and side and watched Him eat broiled fish and honeycomb (John 20:19; Luke 24:36-43). If Jesus was able to pass through walls to enter the room, surely, He was able to pass through the stone without removing it.
When Peter and John made their way into the tomb, they found the grave clothes lying inside and the handkerchief folded neatly by itself (John 20:6-7). Jesus didn’t need the assistance that Lazarus needed when he came out of the tomb (John 11:44). These things were there to show the power of Jesus over death.
May we be reminded, not one time a year, but daily – Jesus Christ overcame the grave! His body did not see corruption (Acts 2:24-32). Why did God roll away the stone? The stone was rolled away to let the disciples in and not to let the Lord out. Because Jesus lives, we who have obeyed the gospel have the confidence that we are no longer in our sins and have the hope of living beyond the grave too (1 Corinthians 15:16-20). Praise God, the stone was rolled away!
– Adam Orr