This morning all around the world messages are being delivered about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Although they each will deal with the resurrection, their focal point will be different. Some will focus upon the significance of the borrowed tomb. Others will discuss the time frame of three days. Still others will proclaim other aspects of that very special time in history. Today, I want to focus on the stone that was rolled away.
A. The Importance of the Resurrection of Christ.
1. Fulfilled the promise of Christ to His disciples:
Mt.16:21, "From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day."
2. The sign given by Jesus of His deity:
John 2:18-22, "Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou does these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said."
B. The Women Came to the Tomb Bringing Spices:
1. The third day after the crucifixion.
2. The trip to anoint the body of Jesus.
3. The question: "Who shall roll us away me stone?" (Mk. 16:3)
II. The Stone Speaks of the Despair of Death.
A. That stone blocked the way to the tomb.
1. Those outside could not get in.
2. The One inside could not get out (it was supposed).
B. Speaks of death holding loved ones from us.
1. Death is a great separation between the living and those who have gone on before.
2. Death comes, often when we least expect it, and more often when we would rather it not.
3. And when it comes, we are helpless and hopeless to do anything about it.
C. But the stone was rolled away.
1. We will someday see our loved ones who have died.
2. The stone could not keep Jesus in the tomb.
D. Jesus arose, conquering death for us.
1 Co. 15:55-58, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."
1. It is clear that we will not be able to roll away the stone ourselves.
2. "...But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ..."
III. The Stone Speaks of the Efforts of the Enemies of Jesus
A. The stone was sealed by the Roman Empire.
B. This was done at the request of the priests and Pharisees.
C. Note: Mt. 27:62-66 "Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
D. Formalistic, faithless religious leaders were enemies of Jesus.
E. The pagan Roman Empire was an enemy of Jesus.
F. And there were also supernatural enemies of Jesus.
1. Jesus said His enemies were children of Satan.
John 8:44, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
2. Demonic forces are to be reckoned with even now! (Eph. 6)
G. Jesus arose and conquered all His foes
Col. 2:12-15, "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it."
H. "Up from the grave He arose with a mighty triumph o’er His foes...He arose a victor from the dark domain, and He lives forever with His saints to reign..."
IV. The Stone Speaks of Anything That Separates Us from Our Savior.
A. The women see themselves helplessly standing before the stone.
B. They believe the stone will keep them separated from Jesus. "Who will roll away the stone?"
C. Sin separates people from Jesus.
Isaiah 59:1-2, "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear."
D. Jesus welcomes and forgives those who bring their sins to Him.
E. Those who trust Jesus will not be separated from Him.
Ro. 8:38, "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
A. What stone is separating you from Jesus?
1. The ‘stone’ of unbelief?
2. The ‘stone’ of your past?
3. The ‘stone’ of fear and doubt?
B. Do not allow anything to keep you from Jesus Christ! Come to Him today!
C. Look in Faith to Jesus: The One Who Is Always approachable.
1. We can be saved today by the mighty power of God who loves us so much that He gave His Son, Jesus, to die on Calvary for our sins, and He rose up from the grave and He lives today!
2. Tell the good news: Christ Is Risen!
3. Rejoice: The Stone Has Been Rolled Away!