“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.” (John 20:1)
On Easter Sunday we celebrate the fact that Jesus died and rose again. The above verse from John 20 shares that when Mary arrived at the tomb on Sunday morning, she found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. Later on in that same chapter, we find accounts of two different occurrences when the disciples were gathered together in a locked room and Jesus all of a sudden showed up among them.
So considering that locked doors couldn’t stop Jesus, why did the stone blocking the front of the tomb have to be rolled away? Did Jesus need the stone rolled away so that he could get out? Obviously not. When Lazarus was raised from the dead, they had to move the stone to let him come walking out, but this was different. Lazarus rose from the dead, but eventually died again. Jesus rose from the dead and then after appearing to more than 500 people over the course of about 40 days, He went to be with the Father again. We can tell from the resurrection appearances, that Jesus’ resurrected body was different. Locked doors couldn’t keep him out. And He didn’t need to have the stone rolled away to get out of the tomb.
So if Jesus didn’t need to have the stone rolled away to rise again, why was it rolled away? Good question right? I believe that the stone was rolled away not to let Jesus out, but to let the witnesses in. The stone was rolled away so that Mary and then Peter and John could see the proof that Jesus body was gone. The stone was rolled away so that we could see the evidence of the resurrection.
And this Sunday on Easter we will be looking at that evidence. Consider joining us this Sunday at The River, 2510 Chaska Blvd. We will start with a breakfast at 8:30, followed by our worship celebration at 9:30. Everyone is welcome!