The Stone Rolled Away

Preached to the Saints at Riverview Baptist Church on April 15, 2017 at
798 Santa Fe Pike, Columbia, TN 38401

rolled-away-stoneMatthew 28:1-8 (KJV)  In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the {Tomb}.  [2]  And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.  [3]  His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:  [4]  And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.   [5]  And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  [6]  He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  [7]  And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.  [8]  And they departed quickly from the {Tomb} with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

When Jesus died and was placed in the Tomb, a huge stone was rolled into the doorway, effectively sealing it off. The Pharisees and Priests remembered that Jesus promised to rise from the grave. They went to Pilate and said:

Matthew 27:63-66 … “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.

So they went to the Tomb, rolled a huge stone into place, sealed the stone in place with Pilate’s seal, and placed a guard of soldiers in front of that stone to keep it in place.

On This Resurrection Sunday Let The Stone Preach

I want to think about this Stone today on this Resurrection Sunday. I want the Stone to preach to us today. I want the Stone to cry out to us, to shout a message of Hosanna to Christ our King. Jesus said before His crucifixion:

Luke 19:40 (KJV) …. I tell you that, if these {children} should hold their peace, THE STONES WOULD IMMEDIATELY CRY OUT.

I want this stone to witness to us today.

When Israel listened to God and followed Him they defeated their enemies the Philistines. The Bible tells us that after the battle (1 Samuel 7:13-14) that the Prophet Samuel set up a stone called Ebeneezer, a stone of help to remind Israel of the goodness of God.

This Stone – This Tomb Stone if you will – is an Ebeneezer, a stone of witness, and it speaks to us today. There are three great truths we can see in this Stone.

  • First, the stone is very heavy, and keeps us from our Lord.

  • Second, the stone is sealed by the mark of the Law. Pilate had the stone sealed in place with his mark, and it was a violation of the Law for anyone to break that seal.

  • Third, the stone is a doorway between death and life.

Let’s quickly look at each of these points as the Stone preaches to us today.

These precious ladies got up early in the morning on the first day of the week. They had a good deed to do. They were going to the Tomb of Christ to finish preparing His Body for burial.

As Jesus died at the end of the Feast of the Passover, the next day would begin the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a special Sabbath among the Jews. (see Leviticus 23:5-8). Because this was a Sabbath Christ’s body was removed from the Cross and hurriedly prepared for burial (see Luke 23:52-54; John 19:31; John 19:42). This is why we read:

Matthew 28:1 (KJV)  In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the {Tomb}.

The Sabbaths had ended. Mary Magdalene and Mary of Clopas were returning to the Tomb of Christ to finished what they had hurriedly done three days before. They come to do a good work, and “brought sweet spices that they might anoint Him” (Mark 16:1). But there is a problem.

Who shall roll away the stone from the mouth of the Tomb
FOR IT IS VERY HEAVY” (Mark 16:3-4)?

These women came to do a good work, but something stood in their way.

The Stone stood in their way.

The Stone Is A Barrier God Removed

When the Stone was placed on the mouth of that Tomb, it was placed there because Christ died for our sins. Sin is a barrier that keeps us from God. Isaiah said:

Isaiah 59:2 (ESV) … your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

The Bible teaches that an immovable stone stands between us and God, and that stone is our sin. We are shut into a living tomb. We are born into this world sinful creatures.

1 John 3:4 (ESV)  Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; SIN IS LAWLESSNESS.

We are born into this world sinners who may be moral, sinners who might try to do good works, but sinners none the less. We are “dead in trespasses and in sins” (Ephesians 2:1). Satan led our forefather Adam from Paradise to spiritual death, and we have no ability to roll the stone away from that grave we are in.

This is why Christ died. Christ died not because HE was a sinner, but because WE are sinners. The Bible says:

1 Peter 3:18 (ESV) For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God …

Jesus died for our sins, and rose again to lead us in righteousness. Jesus said that He …

Mark 8:31 … must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.

We could not roll the Stone away ourselves, but Christ rolled the stone of sin away by His death. As C.H. Spurgeon said:

Our sins were the great stone which shut the mouth of the {Tomb}, and held us captives in death, and darkness, and despair. But OUR SINS ARE NOW FOREVER ROLLED AWAY …”

When these precious ladies came to the Tomb they expected to find a Stone that would be impossible to move. What did they find? They found ….

Matthew 28:2 (KJV) And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

The earth moved.

The Angel of the Lord descended.

The Stone was rolled away.

If Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins had not been acceptable to God
then that Stone would still be in place.

Hebrews 10:12-18 …. when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For BY A SINGLE OFFERING HE HAS PERFECTED FOR ALL TIME THOSE WHO ARE BEING SANCTIFIED. 15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” 17 then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” 18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

The Stone Moved Satisfied The Law

When the Angel of the Lord moved that Stone – that Stone we could not move – he broke the seal of the Law that was on that Stone. It was a violation of Law for that Stone to be moved.

All of mankind are lawbreakers.

But Our Lord Jesus fulfilled the Law.

He lay in that Tomb the Lamb of God without Spot or Blemish.

He walked from that Tomb the Satisfactory Payment For Our Sins.

Matthew 5:17-18 (KJV)   Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.   [18]   For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law of God. Being perfect and sinless, God in the flesh, He laid down His life for His friends (John 15:13). Mary Magdalene and Mary of Clopas (see John 19:25) stood by the cross of Christ with His mother Mary, watching Jesus die. Just three days before Jesus had been beaten with whips, brutalized by the Roman soldiers, condemned to die by a mob led by the Pharisees. Crucify Him! Crucify Him!

Why was Jesus crucified? What sin had He committed?

When Jesus was brought before Pilate to be judged Pilate said:

Luke 23:4 (ESV) “I find NO GUILT IN THIS MAN.”

Jesus had done nothing to warrant His death. Pilate did as all politicians do – he tried to pass the buck. He sent Jesus to Herod to be judged. But Herod was a good politician, too. He had Jesus beaten, dressed up in a King’s Robe, then sent Jesus back to Pilate.

Crucify Him! Crucify Him!

Pilate tells the Pharisees and Priests:

Luke 23: 14-16 … “You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15 Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. 16 I will therefore punish and release him.”

Yet they would not have it. Crucify Him! Crucify Him!

THREE TIMES Pilate sought to free Christ, to release this innocent Man.

Luke 23:22 A THIRD TIME he said to them, “Why? What evil has he done? I HAVE FOUND IN HIM NO GUILT DESERVING DEATH. I will therefore punish and release him.”

They would not relent. Crucify Him! Crucify Him!

Matthew 27:25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!

So Christ was nailed to a Cross on Calvary.

On either side of Him hung two thieves who were being justly crucified, murderers, rioters.

But in the middle hung a Man Who had done no evil.

He had not broken either civil nor religious laws.

He hung dying as people mocked Him.

Jesus died as our Passover Lamb, the Lamb without spot or blemish. Jesus came to this earth to be “the Savior of His people” (Luke 2:11). He died at the end of the Passover as our Passover

1 Corinthians 5:7 (NLT) … CHRIST, OUR PASSOVER LAMB, has been sacrificed for us.

When the Angel of the Lord rolled the stone away, He broke the seal of the Law on that tomb. Christ Jesus paid for our sins. Jesus died for me. And those who receive His Promise:

John 3:14-18 (KJV)   And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:   [15]   That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.   [16]   For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.   [17]   For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.   [18]   He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Those who have received Christ as Lord and Savior are no longer locked in a spiritual tomb by an immovable stone. Christ died for us so that we can live for God. The Stone is rolled away. Death had no hold on our Savior, and has no hold on us. Praise God forever more!

On Resurrection Sunday Let The Angel Preach

For anything to be true – according to God’s Law – there must be TWO or MORE WITNESSES. The Stone is one witness – the other is the Angel of the Lord.

Matthew 28:2-4 (KJV)… the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and SAT UPON IT.

I want you to notice the sermon the Angel of the Lord preaches. First, he is The ANGEL OF THE LORD. He comes from the Throne of God, sent by the Lord Himself. God sent this Angel. This Angel …

Rolled back the stone from the door AND SAT UPON IT

The Angel sat down. The work of Calvary was finished. Jesus declared it. When Jesus died He cried out:

Tetelestai – It Is Finished! (John 19:30)

Jesus Christ “finished the work that the Father gave Him to do” (John 17:4). Jesus paid for our sins on Calvary. He came to “seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Jesus made atonement for those Who believe in Him (Romans 3:23-25). The Angel had one thing to do. His job was to move the stone. Neither the Angel, nor the ladies at the Tomb paid for our sins. The Angel sat down. The Work of Christ was done.

Matthew 28:3-4 (KJV)… His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:  [4]  And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

This Angel came from God’s Throne room. As the Holy Power of God shined through this Angel his countenance (appearance) was like lightening, his clothing white as snow. As this representative of God SAT in front of these mortals …

The unbelieving guard shook, and became like dead men. If Christ is not yours and you are not His one day you will stand not before an Angel, but before GOD ALMIGHTY HIMSELF. On that day you along with all unbelievers will cry out:

Revelation 20:11 (KJV)11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

And run, but there will be no place to hide. The Angel says not a word to these unbelievers. They become like dead men, but there is no comfort for them. They rejected Christ. Death and hell await those who reject Christ. The Angel barely glances at them, but then we read:

Matthew 28:5 (KJV) And the angel answered and said unto the women, FEAR NOT YE: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

Do not fear” you who seek Jesus. There is no fear for those who are His. Christ knows and loves His sheep, and His sheep know and love Him. We need not fear the Angels. The Angels are our guardians while we love Jesus. The Angels are our protectors. The Angels know we seek Jesus Who was crucified. Jesus killed death and sin the day He died.

Matthew 28:7-8 (KJV) He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  [7]  And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead

Do not fear. Jesus has risen, just as He said. Tell others. Go tell His disciples He is risen from the dead. Go rejoicing. Jesus has defeated death. Jesus has defeated sin. Jesus is alive forevermore. And we who believe in Him will live with Him …


May God lead you to trust in Christ as your Lord and Savior this very day!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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