COLUMN: Jesus rolls away the stone

Men have been known to recover from every kind of sickness and plight.

“And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. – Mark 16:2-4

Commenting on this Scripture the great 19th century Baptist Preacher Charles Spurgeon said: “They seem to have put into language the great sigh of universal manhood, ‘Who shall roll away the stone?’” He goes on to say, “Men, generation after generation, buried their fellows; the all-devouring sepulchre swallowed its myriads. Who could stay the daily slaughter, or give hope beyond the grave?”

Men have been known to recover from every kind of sickness and plight. No matter what men face there remains a glimmer of hope as long as they are alive. But when death comes hope evaporates, death is final.  Grave stones dot the landscapes of every place man has lived on the earth, reminding us of those who have succumbed before and of where we will one day lie.

Truly all hope would end with the grave if no one had ever escaped from the dark tomb of death. If there was no record of one coming back from the dead then even those who hope that their deceased loved one has gone to a better place or that they’ll be reunited in an afterlife would be nothing more than wishful thinking. Such hope would be baseless and futile if the grave held 100% victory over man. The great lesson of Easter is that “The stone was rolled away”, the tomb was empty and death was conquered! The One who defeated death and broke the grip of the tomb was the Lord Jesus Christ!

Death had no jurisdiction over Jesus to begin with because though He became a man, He remained sinless. It is sin that sentences mankind to death. The universality of death testifies to the universality of sinfulness among men. The Saviour took the judgement of our sins upon Himself and bled and died in our place. With sin’s penalty paid for and buried in the grave, He did what no other could, He arose from the dead. That’s definitely something to celebrate.

Do you have hope beyond the grave? What support do you have for your hope? If your faith and hope is in the One who overcame death then you have a solid foundation for hope. If not, I pray you’ll come in prayer and faith to the One who conquered death, today. God bless and Happy Easter.

Pastor Tom Kline,

Castlegar Baptist Church