Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb” John 20:1 (NKJV)
One of the greatest pivotal and epic moments of the Passion story of Christ is the imagery of the stone that held Jesus in His tomb being rolled away to reveal the power of death no longer could contain Him. The grave was empty and Jesus had risen.
But as epic and pivotal of a moment it was, have you ever wondered why the stone was rolled away? Why didn’t Jesus simply walk through the walls of the tomb? After all, several days later He does just that when He visits the disciples in the upper room. Some might say it was to prove that Jesus wasn’t in there anymore; that the man walking around wasn’t just an imposter. That might very well be in the practical and natural sense, but I would like to share with you another layer of this epic scene depicted at the grave of Jesus that points to what happens to us all as we become Living Stones for Christ.
One of my most favorite scriptures of the Bible, one you have heard me speak about many times, and the one this whole family ministry is based on is 1 Peter 2:4, “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”. Since the days of my first calling to partner with the Holy Spirit in this ministry called Chosen Stones I have received revelation after revelation concerning this scripture in the Bible. The story of the resurrection of Jesus is one of those revelations.
Every word written in the pages of the Bible is there with much thought, intention, and reason beyond what our natural mind and eyes can see, and the simple but epic scripture: “the stone had been rolled away” (Mark 16:4) is no different. Looking through the lens of the metaphor used in 1 Peter 2:4 to describe us as “Living Stones” we can now see ourselves placed and scripted in that beautiful and victorious moment of Jesus’ resurrection revealed. We are that heavy stone that was rolled away.
Seeing ourselves as the stone of the tomb of Jesus reveals two things about us. One,
the weight of our sin held Jesus inside that tomb. Our sin sealed Jesus’ death, but the love of the Father demanded Jesus’ resurrection and the result was that our heavy sin was rolled away.
The second thing that is revealed as we see ourselves as the stone that was rolled away was what Jesus’ resurrection promised for all who would follow after Him and become Living Stones; eternal life. In that moment when love overcame and conquered the grave, a message was sent to those who would follow after Jesus: we would be forever taken away from the curse of death. As the gospel of John puts it “The stone [living Stones of Christ] had been taken away from the tomb” (John 20:1). In that epic scene of Jesus’ victory over sin, death, and the grave, we can see ourselves being separated or removed from the grave ourselves. As Jesus rose from the dead, He chose not to just walk through the wall and save Himself; He chose to save us all by forever separating us as Living Stones from the tomb that our own sin placed Him in. In fact in the gospel of Matthew 28 there is even a clearer picture of this mystery hidden in the scripture when it says, “An angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it” Matt 28:2 (NKJV). The picture we get when we see the angel setting on the stone is one of permanency. Sitting on the stone was to say that we would never be placed in the bondage and crush of death again, but we would be overcomers through Christ.
In conclusion, as we peer into the emotional and victorious scene of Jesus’ resurrection and see ourselves as that stone rolled away from the tomb of bondage, “have we allowed Jesus to roll us away from the curse of death, sin, and bondage? Are there things in our lives that we have not rolled away from? Have we forever separated ourselves from those things that weigh us down in death, sin, and the curse of humanity? Do we still like to crawl back into that tomb and visit places that should be put to death? Spend a few minutes this Easter season evaluating your own life to make sure that you have placed distance between you and the grave. Be rolled away!
Author: Alicia White, KIMI Ohio