What Is the Meaning and Significance Behind the Stone?
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6 NIV)
The significance of the stone is that God alone could remove it. It signified the sin Jesus defeated, and the power of God over darkness and evil. The meaning of the stone being rolled, which weighed over a ton and guarded by soldiers, was God’s ability to remove it.
“When Jesus was dead and buried, with a big stone rolled against the tome, the Pharisees came to Pilate and asked for permission to seal the stone and guard the tomb,” Pastor John Piper explains, ‘Pilate said, ‘You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can’ (Matthew 27:65). So they did. They gave it their best shot — in vain.” Nothing stops the providence of God. He is mightier than any other power in the spiritual realm or on earth.
The stone itself was a symbol for the guilt of sin. 1 Samuel 14:33 provides further insight to the significance of the stone:
“Then someone said to Saul, ‘Look, the men are sinning against the LORD by eating meat that has blood in it. You have broken faith,’ he said. ‘Roll a large stone over here at once.’”
Broken faith, in the original Hebrew of the Old Testament, also means faithless, unfaithful, and treacherous (NIV Study Bible). Christ came to wipe away all guilt and shame associated with sin. Even the stones which seem too impossible to move, leave behind, and heal from. He defeated death, and removed the consequence for our sin, once and for all. Rebecca Barlow Jordan wrote, “There is only One who can roll away our stones and bring joy, new life, and freedom through Christ.”
Who Rolled the Stone Away?
“He is not here, but has risen.” (Luke 24:6 NIV)
An angel rolled the stone away from the tomb, and the women would have been witness to this.
Numerous Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled by the detailed events of Jesus’ death on the cross. God is sovereign over all. “Our Lord Jesus could have rolled back the stone Himself by His own power,” Matthew Henry explains in his commentary of the Bible, “but He chose to have it done by an angel to signify that having undertaken to make satisfaction for our sin, He did not break prison, but had a fair and legal discharger, obtained from heaven.” In God’s providential timing, the stone was removed.
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