(Posted 04/10/04)
#6 Let the Stone Cry Out
By D.B. Martin

Deep despair gripped His disciples. After His passion, Jesus had been laid in a tomb, blocked by a great stone, sealed by the ring of the Roman Governor, and guarded by Roman soldiers. All the disciples were silent now; in fact, they were hiding in fear; all but the faithful women who came through that gloom to the tomb early Easter morning. Having come to anoint Jesus with spices, they asked one another, “Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulcher?” (Mark 16:3).

That question expressed the mournful inquiry of all humanity. The stone now sealing the grave reminded them and us of our sin and coming death. Who, indeed, shall roll away that stone? They failed to recognize that was exactly what Jesus was about. The passion of Jesus now appeared to them as defeat.

During the triumphal entry, Jewish priests had demanded that Jesus rebuke His followers for praising Him. He had answered, “…if these held their peace, the stones should immediately cry out" (Luke 19:40). Now here was a stone crying out, announcing the resurrection of our Lord. Today, I call that stone to be our witness. So, let the stone preach:

First, As A Door. Satan intended the stone to keep Jesus dead and thus destroy our hope. The women could not remove that stone, nor can we. The Roman seal on the stone speaks of the law condemning us for our sins. The soldiers guarding the stone suggest demonic forces, which would take us to Hell.

God answered the women’s question: “And behold there was a great earthquake; for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it” (Matthew 28:2). The stone was rolled away, breaking the seal and paralyzing the Roman guards. Christ arose victoriously over death and the grave!

The stone was rolled away, not to let Jesus out, but to reveal an empty tomb and a risen Savior. God changed that stone of death into our door to Heaven. That stone now bears witness to our living Christ, the “Rock of Ages”, who said, “I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved” (John 10:9). So Calvary had changed that gravestone to a life stone, representing Jesus, the door to life and Heaven. But the stone can also preach:

Secondly, as a Monument. Throughout history memorial stones have commemorated great events. The angel sat upon the stone, daring the enemies of God to put Jesus and the stone back. The battle was over, the victory won. The stone became a monument, celebrating Jesus’ victory over death.

Engrave the stone with the words of Paul, “Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,” (2 Timothy 1:10). Add the words of Jesus, “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26). The stone rolled away preaches as a monument to the greatest victory in history. And let the stone preach:

Finally, As Our Foundation. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Paul said, “If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). Had Jesus remained in the grave, He would not be able to save us today. Jesus Himself, referring to Psalm 118:22, said, “What is this then that is written. The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner” (Luke 20:17).

How important is the resurrection? The resurrection of Jesus validated all His claims, teachings, and promises. Therefore, the certainty of the resurrection is foundational to the all we believe. Luke shows the importance Jesus gave to certifying His resurrection, stating that Jesus, “…showed himself alive after the passion by many infallible proofs, being seen by them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God;” (Acts 1:3).

Jesus proved this by at least ten recorded post resurrection appearances: (1) to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18), (2) to the women (Matt. 28:8-10), (3) To Peter (Luke 24:34), (4) To two on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32), (5) To the disciples, Thomas absent (John 20:19-25), (6) To the disciples the next Sunday, with Thomas present (John 20:26-31), (7). To the seven at the Lord’s breakfast by the Sea of Galilee (John 21), (8) To more than 500 at one time (1 Cor. 15:6), (9) To James, half brother of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:7), And (10) At His ascension (Acts 1:3-12).

Here is one of those appearances. Jesus said to his disciples, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have and when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here anything to eat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and an honeycomb, and he took it, and did eat before them” (Luke 24:39-43). It is very clear that Jesus arose from the dead bodily, not just spiritually.

The angel rested on that stone. So can you. Hear the sermon and rest on the stone of our risen Savior, Jesus Christ. If a stone can bear witness of our living Christ, so can you. Build your life on Him who said, “Because I live, ye shall live also” (John 14:19). Amen!

© 2004 D. B. Martin.

Note: Special credit to Charles H. Spurgeon for major ideas in this message.

Memo: This is the last article of my current series, "In the Shadow of the Cross." For the near future I plan to go back to monthly Maranathalert Bulletins.

To view previous Maranathalerts, see the Maranathalert Archives . Visit our website home page for many prophecy articles and other subjects posted there. For example, 2003 Easter season we posted messages on "The Seven Last Words from the Cross."

Current Passion Movie Report. As of April 10th 2004, Domestic (US/Canada) All time 8th place gross box office sales of $344,340,000, All time 50th place in the world with gross box office sales of $424,340,000.

Note From Editor: I am a retired Southern Baptist Pastor living in Virginia Beach, VA. This website and email bulletin is simply my way to continue my ministry in retirement. This goes out to more than 500 addresses. I hope it is a blessing to you. If you have suggestions or know of someone else who would like to receive these bulletins, please email us. They are free. Also, if you would like your name removed from our email list, simply click "reply" and type "unsubscribe" in the subject line. Your name will be removed.

Meanwhile, God bless you, D. B. Martin.