Joseph of Arimathea then approached Pilate with a strange request. He wanted the body of the One who had been crucified to give Him a proper burial.
What emotions surged through Pilate’s mind as he received that request from the wealthy Arimathean? Surprise that a wealthy man would desire the body of this lowly Galilean? But the plan of God was at work, permission was granted.
The body of Jesus was lovingly placed in that new tomb, the tomb that was to have been used for Joseph himself and the massive stone was rolled over the entrance. A Roman soldier guarded the entrance secured with the seal of imperial Rome. The awesome power of ruling Rome was in effect as the hours passed by.
Then on that first Easter morning the two Marys approached the sealed, guarded tomb. They were astonished to find not a closed tomb but an empty, yawning opening. The stone had been rolled away. But not merely rolled away, an angel was seated on the stone.
Not only was the power of Rome and the stone rolled away, but totally dominated. The seal of mighty Rome, that caused nations to tremble, was ignored when the messenger of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords rested upon the seal of the mightiest of earth’s conquering nations.
The prophet Isaiah was right. “The nations are like a drop in a bucket, they are regarded as the dust in the scales. . .before Him all the nation are as nothing, they are regarded by Him as worthless and less than nothing.” Isaiah 40: 15-17
That power from on high that set aside the authority of imperial Rome on that day rules now in our day, that power was not confined to that time, to that day. Today, could there be a “stone” in our lives that blocks our freedom, our joy, that we are helpless to move?
As we go to God in our weakness, remember His strength that was displayed on that glorious day when that stone was rolled away and Jesus Christ rose from the dead. God’s strength, His care was evidenced centuries ago, it is true now as Isaiah also said;
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (NIV) Isaiah 40:28-31.
That rolled away stone on that blessed day, reminds us that no matter what the circumstance, no matter who or what the foe is, be it from without or within. Our God reigns.
We need to rest on that eternal truth. We need to rest on Him.
Written by Neil Glass used with permission