The Stone was Rolled Away…
The first people who had a problem with the stone being rolled away were the soldiers assigned to guard the tomb. (Matthew’s Gospel tells us they had even set a seal on the stone to make sure it was secure.)
We can only imagine the terror they must have faced at some point during the night when that massive stone was rolled away.
The part of Jesus’ resurrection that remains a mystery is the actual moment when it happened. While Jesus did not require the stone to be rolled away for His exit from the tomb, the stone was rolled away to allow all those outside to see in. The terror of that moment would have been made worse when they also realized they had not performed their assignment of keeping the tomb secure, and it would probably cost them their lives.
The second people who had a problem with the stone being rolled away were the women who came to the tomb early in the morning to anoint Jesus’ body with spices. (His body had been prepared and placed in the new tomb by Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, but the ladies were coming to complete the process.) Perhaps in the emotion of those moments they were not thinking clearly. The massive stone would have been impossible for them to move. Were they planning for the soldiers to help them?
The third people who had a problem with the stone being rolled away were the disciples themselves. When Mary came and reported this to His disciples assembled in fear and sadness following the crucifixion, they could not believe the report to be true. In their minds, it was impossible for the stone to have been rolled away. Peter and John took off running to see if what she said was true. Could it be?
The fourth people who had a problem with the stone being rolled away were the religious leaders who had sentenced Jesus to death. The stone being rolled away was proof they were dead-wrong about Jesus, and if they were dead-wrong about Jesus – what else were they dead-wrong about? If everyone found out what had happened, their rule over the Jewish people would be over.
To keep that from happening, they paid the Roman guards to keep silent about the stone being rolled away – which they were more than happy to do since any admission about what happened may have caused them to be put to death.
History provides the remaining group who are troubled by the stone being rolled away.
This is by far the largest group, and it includes each of us. While the stone was rolled away from the tomb of Jesus, revealing an empty tomb, a stone of unbelief remains over the heart of every person born since the resurrection. This stone of unbelief must be rolled away for the heart to see Jesus as both Savior and LORD.
Each story of how the stone of unbelief was rolled away from the human heart is as individual as a fingerprint. No two stories are alike, and each story is a miracle of God – just as was stone being rolled away from Jesus’ tomb.
Should the stone of unbelief remain in place eternal death results. It is only when the stone of unbelief is rolled away that eternal life in Christ begins. We cannot of ourselves remove the stone. Only God can do that. But we must be the ones to allow it, and it only takes place when we place our faith in Christ to do that work.