After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the tomb. 2 Look, there was a great earthquake, for an angel from the Lord came down from heaven. Coming to the stone, he rolled it away and sat on it. 3 Now his face was like lightning and his clothes as white as snow. 4 The guards were so terrified of him that they shook with fear and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He isn’t here, because he’s been raised from the dead, just as he said. Come, see the place where they laid him. 7 Now hurry, go and tell his disciples, ‘He’s been raised from the dead. He’s going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ I’ve given the message to you.”
8 With great fear and excitement, they hurried away from the tomb and ran to tell his disciples. 9 But Jesus met them and greeted them. They came and grabbed his feet and worshipped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Go and tell my brothers that I am going into Galilee. They will see me there” (Matthew 28:1-10, Common English Bible).
The “how” doesn’t make as much difference as the what. What happened early in the morning of the first day of the week is the most amazing story ever told. Over the next few days, we are going to look at a few of the elements of this great story.
Two women, an angel, an earthquake, and a very large rolling stone are all present at the same time. And, that isn’t the amazing part of the story.
Two women in mourning couldn’t have moved this stone. I don’t know how many men it took to roll the stone into place over the opening of Jesus’ tomb but we know from other Gospel accounts the women knew they would be unable to move the stone themselves. “They were saying to each other, ‘Who’s going to roll the stone away from the entrance for us’” (Mark 16:3, Common English Bible)? If we are going to accept tradition, the stone was large and heavy. It would have taken several men to move it. Yet it was moved.
According to Matthew, the angel brought on an earthquake that apparently moved the stone. While I have never experienced an earthquake myself, seeing the damage that occurs from the earth moving, I have no trouble believing that the earthquake caused the stone to move from the entrance of the tomb.
Likewise, I have no real knowledge of angels. I don’t know if they have a need for rest. But, because God rested and instructs us on the importance of rest, I am going to go out on what I think is a pretty strong limb and say, after getting that stone moved, this angel took a well-deserved rest, right there on the object of his triumph.
I love the title to one of Max Lucado’s older books, He Still Moves Stones. And, Lucado is correct. As Matthew tells the story, God would use two women, God would use a big rock, God would use an angel and God would use an earthquake to bring the Divine will into reality.
To what limits might God go to make the Divine will real in your life.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved