The Stone is Moved



The morning that changed the world.  If Jesus Christ was not resurrected, how would history be different?  How would we even measure time??  This event is so big it split time and history right down the middle, from BC to AD.  
 
As much as our society try to pretend He doesn’t matter anymore, no matter how much we reject Him, no matter how much we worship our things and our selves over Him, if this event doesn’t happen WE don’t happen.  By “we”, I mean the United States of America.  The good ole US of A.  ‘Merica.  If this event doesn’t happen, the is no Catholic dominance in Europe, no Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses into the door.  There is no Protestant reformation, no Quakers, no Mayflower.  No USA, no “manifest destiny”. 
 
Without the resurrection, there is no Christianity.  Christ, in life, in flesh, in this world, measured through being entombed that Passover Friday, was a failure.  Despite all the miracles, the healings, all the lessons taught, the waves stilled, where was He come Friday night?  Dead in an early grave.  
 
All the promises broken.  All the hopes dashed, dreams unfulfilled.  “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain….
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:14, 17‬ ‭ESV‬‬. On Friday night, all had been in vain. Jesus ministry had been futile, and the world was no better after than before Christ.
 
Think I’m wrong?  Where are all His crowds now.  The 5000, the 4000?  The woman at the well?  The woman caught in adultery?  Where is Lazarus?  Jairus?  Where are all the lepers he healed?  The madman at the caves filled by a legion of demons?
 
Where are His followers?  Where are His disciples?  Where are John and James?  Where is Peter, who would never deny Him but had just finished denying Him 3 times?
 
They were all nowhere to be found.  Scattered all around, in hiding, stunned, fearing for their own lives, looking out for their own self preservation.
 
Which brings us to Sunday morning.  John tells us “..it was still dark…”  ‭‭John‬ ‭20:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬. And how dark it was!!
 
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.  No crowds, no seekers.  No followers.  No apostles.   Just Mary and Mary, the only ones there to show the Teacher the love He had shown them.  The last to leave Calvary Friday night, the first at His grave Sunday morning.

And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.

An unmistakable act of God, complete with an angel from Heaven.  The guards trembled and became like dead men.  They were dead men – they would surely be put to death for allowing grave robbers to come steal this body!!

But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” 

Here’s the thing – we may think the angel moved the stone to let Jesus escape.  But that’s not what it says.  He is not here, for he has risen…Jesus was already gone.  That tomb was never going to hold the true Son of God.  He didn’t need the stone to be moved.  Mary and Mary did.   The apostles did.  His followers needed it, but Jesus did not.  We did.  

We still need that stone to be moved.  Because we forget.  We forget that He is risen.  Christ died on that cross as the ultimate sin sacrifice for us all.  But never forget, He was our sacrifice, not God’s.  He took all of our sins upon Himself, not the sins of His Father.  
 
We get stuck in our alcoholism.  But God moves the stone, the Son is risen!!
 
We get stuck in our pill addiction, our heroin, our coke addiction.  We forget that Christ is risen.   
 
We can’t stop clicking on those porn sites.  We can’t resist locking doors, hiding ourselves.  We forget Christ is risen.
 
We want to give up.  Life is just getting too hard.  The world around us just seems to be turning against us.
 
As Jimmy V so famously said – “Don’t give up.  Don’t ever give up!!”
 
The stone is moved.  The sun is up.  The Son is up!!  Christ is risen.  God the Father rejected our sacrifice of His only begotten Son on Calvary’s cross, breaking the power of sin and death over our lives.  Christ Himself told us so much when he quoted the prophet Hosea – “And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.” Matthew‬ ‭12:7‬ ‭ESV‬‬
 
So we follow the commands of Christ.  We love God.  We love our neighbors.  We love and pray for our enemies.  Because Christ’s earthly ministry ended at Calvary, but He did not.  His resurrection split history, His-story, right in half.  The stone is moved.  The tomb is empty.  Christ is risen!!

 

“Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭28:1-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/mat.28.1-10.esv

 

 

John Lewis

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