Faithlife Sermons

Roll Away The Stone

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The defining event of the NT is the resurrection of Christ.

Jesus, the Lamb of God, died at 3:00 PM (9th hour). This was the same exact time when the lamb was sacrificed in the Temple. Traditionally the priest would blow the shofar at this time to let the whole city know that the lamb died for their sins.


Jesus was buried in a new tomb, one that no one had ever been buried in. Tombs like this were very expensive to build and own. According to Jewish custom, families could not be buried together. When Joseph of Arimathea buried Jesus here, he was giving the tomb away.


The stone in front of the tomb could not hold Jesus in. He was only there so He could be the sacrifice. But then when Jesus rose, the stone was rolled away to show people that Jesus was no longer there. Our job as Christians is to be an instrument of God to roll away the stone so people can see that Jesus is the Risen Lord! For many people, the stone is still there because they don't know the truth about Jesus. Sometimes we act like the stone is still there in our own lives, disregarding the power that comes from the resurrection.


In Jesus' time, when a young yoman wanted to marry a young woman, the man and his father would go to the bride's father and negotiate a price by which the man could marry his daughter. Often the price was steep, because the girl was considered to be very valuable. The price would rival what you would pay for a new home. Once a price was agreed upon, the man's father would give his son a cup of wine who would then take the cup and hold it out to the girl and say, "This cup I offer to you." In other words, "I love you and I offer you my life." She could either reject it (and him), or take it and drink from the cup, in effect saying, "I accept you and give you my life as well."


At the last supper, the third cup of the passover meal, the "cup of redemption", was taken by Jesus and given new meaning. Jesus held up the cup and said, "this cup represents the covenant I am making with you...drink from it." It was like he was saying, "will you marry me and be my spiritual bride?"


The price Jesus had to pay to be your husband required the giving of his own life. That's how much He loves us. When we drink from the communion cup, it is like we are saying, "I accept the cup, and give you my life as well."


In certain OT sacrifices, God told the people to take offer a lamb as an offering to Him, then to take it home and eat it together as a family. It was like God was saying, "I'm coming home with you to be part of your family." Communion is like that. God is saying, "I kept my promises to you...I provided the sacrifice...now I'd like to sit down and have dinner with you.


Source: Ray Vander Laan, Faith Lessons, vol.4

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