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. (Matthew 28:2)
I’m unwilling to leave the Easter theme just yet. Think about that stone. The authorities were worried about the disciples stealing the body of Jesus and spreading rumors about His resurrection, so they had the stone over the mouth of the tomb sealed to make it even harder — virtually impossible — to move, and gave a couple of soldiers weekend duty to stand guard. It already was way too heavy for one person or even the group of women who made their way to the tomb Sunday morning to move; but once it was sealed … forget it.
And you’ve got to admire those women who went to the tomb early on Sunday morning to anoint the body of Jesus properly for burial. They knew the stone was over the mouth of the tomb. They knew it was too big for them to move. They may or may not have known about it being sealed, but they went anyway. They had no plan. They went with the question in their minds: “Who will roll away the stone?” But they had a mind to treat the body of the Savior properly, and they were going to do everything in their power to accomplish that task. And to do so, they put themselves in the path of a miracle. They were not counting on an earthquake to knock out the guards, and an angel of the Lord to roll away the stone and sit on it (don’t you love that?), but that’s exactly what they got.
But the greatest thing they got was to find out there was no body to prepare for burial. There would be no burial. Joseph could have his tomb back. It was the first and last tomb rental in human history. Try going to your local graveyard and see if you can rent a tomb for three days!
This was a major act of faith for these women. Not only did they not know how they would roll away the stone, they were risking their lives walking into a politically charged environment.
Marti writes: “The question rises to the heart, if not to the lips of all of us. Up ahead lies a huge rock. It completely blocks the road to where I want to go. Who is going to remove that rock; that stone of doubt, uncertainty, and unbelief? Where is the hope beyond the grave? Where is the coming man? Where is the predestined deliverer? Where is he, and who is he, that can roll away the stone?”
What stone is in your way? What barrier is bigger than you can surmount? Are you going to stay back, or move forward and expect a miracle? That’s truly what faith is.