“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 clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are look for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said” (Matthew 28:2-6, NASB).
Jesus gave up His life—the perfect sacrifice to appease the Father’s anger at our sin. The Lord of Glory allowed Himself to be led as a Lamb to the slaughter and accepted the wrath of God, the penalty for our sin. The temple curtain tore in half. Mankind was now reconciled to a holy God.
Once life was gone, the body of Jesus was laid in a tomb, and a big heavy stone was rolled in place. Why? To keep people out? Or to keep resurrection power from exploding from the inside out?
Jesus rose from the dead! Life came back into His body. Power was poured out! Resurrection power! This power turned everything upside down. This power transformed His lowly earthly body into a glorious one that could go through walls or ascend directly into Heaven.
There was so much power that Jesus could have easily, with a mere breathe, pushed the stone away. So why the angel?
Angels sang at Jesus’ birth and ministered to Him after His 40-day fast and temptation. However, as God’s wrath poured out on Jesus, a legal decree executed, the angels had to leave His Presence. He died alone, forsaken.
How appropriate, on the third day to send an angel to roll the stone away. Not because Jesus couldn’t roll it away Himself, but because it was a legal decree. It was God’s will to return life to the lifeless body, to legally declare Jesus the Victor! To return the crown of life to the Conqueror of Death, the Bringer of Life, the Risen One!
We belong to Jesus, who wears the Victor’s Crown. His promises hold out hope for every situation in our lives, especially the most important question: Where will we spend eternity?
Matthew Henry, a famous theologian, said this about Jesus. “But being delivered for offences, He was raised again for our justification. He died to pay our debt, and rose again to gain our acquittal. The stone of our sins was rolled to the door of the grave of our Lord Jesus, but to demonstrate that divine justice was satisfied, an angel was commissioned to roll back the stone. The angel did not raise Him from the dead, and more than those that took away the stone from Lazarus’s grave raised him, but by this he intimated the consent of Heaven to Christ’s release, and the joy of Heaven in it.”
What Does This Mean for You?
Do you find yourself in a tomb with a stone rolled into place blocking your path to freedom? You, unlike Jesus, do not have the power to push the stone away. Nevertheless, you do have resurrection power at your disposal. Do you need a stone rolled away?
Maybe your husband wants to give up on your marriage. Maybe your wife doesn’t have time to share your dreams. Maybe your parents don’t have time to listen, much less to understand. Maybe your SAT scores aren’t high enough to get into the college of your choice. Maybe you need a new job, a new plan, or a new direction. Maybe you are struggling with a stronghold.
Who will roll the stone away if you can’t? God will! The Lord will roll away the stone! You must pray and keep praying. Ask and keep asking. Don’t give up! Claim the promises. Trust the One who paid it all to wash away your sin.
After the angel rolled away the stone, the guards fled in fear, but the angel sat on the stone in triumph.
No, you can’t change other people or circumstances. You can’t do miracles or bring healing, but you belong to someone who can! And when He comes through, His triumph will be evident in your life, a testimony to all who know you that God is real, and He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
Meredith Curtis, pastor’s wife and homeschooling mom of five amazing children, has been married to her college sweetheart for 30 years. She loves Jesus, leads worship, homeschools, writes, mentors ladies, and sometimes even cooks dinner! She is the author of Joyful and Successful Homeschooling. Click here for more info on Meredith!