Sit on the Stone
May 7, 2018 2148
We’ve all had nightmares, haven’t we? As a child, I used to dream that I was being chased through a cemetery, and I would often wake up terrified. Our nightmares come out of our minds processing our fears while we sleep.
Matthew’s account of the resurrection of our Lord adds an intriguing detail that the other gospel writers missed. He says that on resurrection Sunday,
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 (Matt 28:2, NIV).
So that you can understand this, I have to give you some background about Jewish tombs of that period. The entrance to a tomb was typically covered by a round stone that was rolled down a groove at a slight decline, into a channel in the front of the entrance. In the absence of hand-holds, it would have been totally impossible for a stone to be rolled away from the inside of a tomb.
The other complicating factor about the stone in front of Jesus’ tomb is that it was sealed with a Roman seal. The stone bore the authority of the empire. It marked the death of Christ as the legal and irreversible decision of the empire.
But what humanity could not do, God did. Just one angel from the innumerable host of heaven was all it took. Matthew simply mentions that the angel came down from heaven, went to the tomb, rolled away the stone, and sat on it.
What does that stone represent? The stone represents everything that limits you and me. It represents seemingly dashed dreams, apparent failure, and the end of hope. The stone at the tomb of Christ even, and obviously, represents the finality of death. It is the worst and the sum of our fears.
Your stone will be rolled away too!
There could be no greater act of defiance to the Roman Empire, and all human authority, than to have broken the seal on the stone, and rolled it away. It’s as if God were saying, “I see you’ve put your mark of authority on the grave of my Son. Well, here’s mine. It’s an open tomb and a resurrected Lord. And, by the way, my angel’s going to sit on that broken seal.” And the angel sat peacefully on the stone.
What is impossible for humanity is not only possible, but easy for God (Luke 18:27). Everything that the stone represented has been overcome by Jesus Christ. There will be no more broken hearts, no more dashed dreams, no more hopelessness. Everything that limited you is gone: overcome through the resurrection of the Lord!
We all have stones in our lives that seem to block our way. Sometimes we’ve struggled for years and years, and the stone seems impossible to shift. But your stone will be rolled away too! Because of the resurrection of Jesus, there are no more blockages in your life that cannot be overcome, there are no more limitations to who you can be and what you can achieve. The Bible tells us that we appropriate the power of the Christ’s victory when we by faith connect ourselves with him in his death and resurrection (Rom 6:2–8).
What’s your stone? Sit on your stone by faith today. Claim the victory that is yours and be at peace.