Tuesday, 29 May 2012

If the Stones could speak...

There are many important Bible stories and passages where a stone or stones are a  part of the story. Wouldn't it be interesting if stones could speak and share what they saw? The good news is we don't really need the stones to share with us what happened since it is all recorded for us in our Bibles. We can  think of various examples like the story where Moses was instructed by God to cut out two stone tablets and bring them up the to Mount Sinai and there God Himself wrote out the ten commandments on those stone tablets. It says they were written with the finger of God.  We can also read where God required  the death penalty for people found guilty of certain deliberate sins such as blasphemy, a wizard, some sexual sins etc. But also, just as today, stones were also used as a memorial  as in the book of Joshua where each of the twelve tribes of Israel were instructed to pick up one stone from the river Jordan, pile them in a heap on the land as a lasting remembrance that  they crossed through the Jordan on dry land.  Joshua 4: 7 That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.
 Today also we use stones to mark a memorial or we place a huge stone as a reminder of a new covenant after a break and then restoration of a relationship.

But what I wanted to draw attention to is to look at the story of the stone used at the tomb of our Lord Jesus. We have all heard the question asked - Can God make a stone so big that He cannot move it?  I believe nothing is too hard for the LORD so that question is really irrelevant.
We read in the gospels how Jesus had been wrongly accused, and had been crucified. After Jesus died, his friend Joseph of Arimathaea took the body of Jesus down from the cross, wrapped the  body in linen cloths and laid Him in the sepulchre and rolled a huge stone in place. Mark 15:46  And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. - It would seem at this point that Satan would have thought he had won. Satan's plan all along was to spoil the plan of God and prevent salvation for us to be possible, and so with Jesus being now dead and safely in the tomb, a huge stone rolled in place, Satan will have felt pretty confident at this point that he had won and  there would be no way Jesus could get up and out of there. I am thinking that Satan would have been having a party with his demon friends at this point. BUT that is not the end of the story. If the stone could tell us what happened next, it could testify that an angel came and rolled that stone away. Death could not keep Jesus, neither could a huge stone.  Jesus did not need the stone to be rolled away for Him to be able to get out but we needed it rolled away so that the women could go in there and testify to Jesus resurrection. We can see that the women who were coming to anoint the body of Jesus were worried and wondering who could  move the stone for them. Mark 16: 1-4 says:
 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
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.
The women enter the sepulchre and to their surprise an angel  is in there and tells them that Jesus is risen and is alive. Verse 6 - And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him
I have often thought as I've read this about the parallel of the huge stone to worry or fear in our lives about the future. Just  as this huge stone was an obstacle for the women so my worries or fear is an obstacle to true faith -faith that trusts God for a good outcome even though present circumstances appear otherwise. I think of  verse 4 again where it says  when they looked, the stone had already been rolled away. So I also choose to trust that as I look to my Saviour and put my trust in Him, He will supply every need and work things out to the glory of His Name.
Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

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