Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene *came early to the tomb, while it *was still dark, and *saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. (John 20: 1)




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TitleNow on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene *came early to the tomb, while it *was still dark, and *saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. (John 20: 1)
Date07.06.2013
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Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene *came early to the tomb, while it *was still dark, and *saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. (John 20:1)



Features of the Stone Covering Jesus’ Tomb



The stone was of great size!

  • and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away. (Matthew 27:60)

  • And looking up, they *saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. (Mark 16:4)



The women coming to the tomb knew they could not move it by themselves.

  • And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” (Mark 16:3)



There is an interesting parenthetical note in the Bezae manuscripts.

  • “And when He was laid there, he put against the tomb a stone which 20 men could not roll away”.



A first-century tomb



Caiaphas’ tomb



GA engineers used the data from the Biblical record and geologic information about the rock in Palestine to calculate an approximate weight of 1.5-2 tons for the tomb stone of Joseph’s tomb.



Who moved the stone?



The enemies of Jesus had no reason to move the stone!

  • Now on the next day, which is the one after the preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered together with Pilate, and said, “Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I am to rise again.’ “Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, lest the disciples come and steal Him away and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.”



Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.” And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone. (Matthew 27:62-66)

  • Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, make it as secure as you know how.” And they went and made the grave secure, and along with the guard they set a seal on the stone. (Matthew 27:62-66)



The apostles could not have moved the stone!

  • They were not psychologically prepared to do such a thing.

  • When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and *said to them, “Peace be with you.” (John 20:19)



They could not have successfully gotten past the guards.

  • They could not have successfully gotten past the guards.

  • The Biblical text clearly indicates that the stone was removed before the disciples visited the tomb again.



The stone was miraculously removed by an angel of God.

  • And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. (Matthew 28:2)



Why was the stone moved?



Why was the stone moved?

  • The stone was not moved so that Jesus could get out!

  • The stone seems to have been moved so that those outside could look in!



And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his garment as white as snow; and the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. And the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. (Matthew 28:2-6)

  • And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. And his appearance was like lightning, and his garment as white as snow; and the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. And the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. (Matthew 28:2-6)



Who did the stone move?

  • It moved the apostles to seek the truth about Jesus’ resurrection.

  • Peter therefore went forth, and the other disciple, and they were going to the tomb. (John 20:3)



It moved them to give their lives in testifying that He was alive.

  • It moved them to give their lives in testifying that He was alive.

  • “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. (Acts 2:32)



It moved them to suffer great things for their testimony.

  • It moved them to suffer great things for their testimony.

  • If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:19)



What event had the power to move the apostles to overcome all fears, face the power of an enemy who had crucified their Lord and charge them with killing the Son of God and affirm that He was alive!? Only the resurrection can explain the way the disciples were moved to alter their life’s course and endure so many things!



Does the stone move you?



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