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The Stone Rolled Away

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THE STONE ROLLED AWAY

TEXT: Mark 15:42-16:4

Matthew 27:66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

Introduction: As Jesus made His triumphant entry into the city of Jerusalem, fulfilling prophecy (Zech. 9:9), people lined the road to praise God and wave palm branches in front of Him. Because of this, some of the Pharisees asked Jesus to rebuke His disciples.  Jesus responded by saying, "I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the STONES would immediately CRY OUT!" Only days later, Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, and His disciples "all forsook Him and fled." There was a mock trial as Jesus was taken to Annas, Caiphas, Pilate, Herod, and back again to Pilate. During this time, not one word was given in support of Him.  Then, at 9:00am on the next morning, the time of the morning sacrifice, Jesus was nailed to a cross. After only six hours, at 3:00pm, the time of the evening sacrifice Jesus "bowed His head" and            gave up the Ghost - No MAN took His life from Him - He laid it down. 

Now its Sunday, the sun has just come up. Three women are walking to the tomb of Jesus, so that they could anoint his body. Things had happened so fast when he was crucified and buried. They were not able to properly prepare his body for burial. After his burial, the Jewish women rested on their sabbath, and now, on Sunday morning, came to finish taking care of his body.

But they have forgotten something. How will they gain access to the tomb? The have forgotten that the tomb is sealed with a massive stone. ... They were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, `Who will roll away the stone from the entrance of the tomb? (Mark 16:2-3).

Mark tells the rest of the story in the next few verses of Mark 16. The women arrive. The stone has been rolled away. The tomb is empty. The body of Jesus is gone. An angel tells them to go and tell the disciples what has happened. The angel tells the women, `Don't be alarmed, he said. `You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! (Mark 16:6).

The question that the women asked each other is still a good question for you and me. Who will roll the stone away? Who will roll the stone away from the places in our lives where death and decay have locked us in, and where we find ourselves trapped?

One of the great lessons of the Resurrection is that the solution to our problems does not depend on us. Thank God for that! The Solution to our problems has risen!

I.          The Stone in Place

A.       The Significance of the Stone in Place

1.      The STONE represented a "barrier between the Living & Dead.

2.      The Stone symbolized and signified that Jesus had Died - He had fulfilled all that He came to earth to do - "to give His life a ransom for all."

3.      God’s Word is clear on the purpose and intent of Jesus Christ coming into this world –

1 Timothy 1:15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

4.      There is no greater love in the universe than this -"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for a friend."

5.      The Stone supported that Jesus "Died for our sins according to the Scriptures and that He was Buried…."

6.      Yes, Jesus had died as He said would; He did not faint or swoon, as some apostates would have us believe - He DIED just exactly as the Scriptures foretold.

B.        The Security of the Stone in Place (Matt. 27:62-66)

Matthew 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.

1.      The enemies of Jesus were just as afraid of Him after His death as when He was alive.

2.      They besought Pilate that they might somehow ensure that the body of Jesus be guarded, lest some of His disciples steal it away.

3.      Pilate said, "Make it as SURE as you can!"

4.      They did so by "Setting a Watch of soldiers" to guard The Stone which was placed in front of the sepulchre.

5.      They also made The Stone secure by "Sealing" it. This was done by placing a cord across the entire stone and sealing it with clay at each end.

6.      Little did these Pharisees know that they were giving support to the evidence that Jesus truly rose from the grave.

7.      A Roman soldier knew that to fall asleep on duty or to fail to fulfill his task meant certain death. They were quite professional in their duties.

8.      The only way that the tomb COULD BE EMPTY would be for Jesus TO Rise from the Dead!

9.      The Pharisees failed to realize that no rock, seal, guard, or army could prevent the Son of God from rising from the dead.

II.          the stone rolled away

A.       The Significance of the Removal of the Stone

1.      The Stone was ROLLED AWAY!

2.      The earth began to quake on that first day of the week, as the angel of the Lord descended from heaven and rolled The Stone away from the door of the sepulchre.

Matthew 28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

3.      Those that guarded the tomb of Christ became fearful, shook, and fell down as dead men.

4.      My friend, "Whenever YOU see the Power of Almighty God, you cannot help by fall down before Him as a dead man!!!"

5.      Notice that the "angel SAT upon The Stone". There is also significance in this as well. Why SIT Upon The Stone??? ~Signified Victory of Jesus~

a)      The Stone symbolized a barrier between the Living & Dead; Now that Jesus Had Risen, "Death Had Been Conquered!”

Rev. 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

b)      The Stone which had been secured by guards had now been removed from the mouth of the tomb.

c)      All enemies of the Lord will one day be put under His feet just as The Stone was under the angel.

B.        The Sight Provided by the Removal of the Stone (Matt. 28:5-7)

1.      The Purpose of removing The Stone WAS NOT to allow Jesus to Get Out, but So others could Get IN and SEE that Jesus had indeed Risen from the Dead, just as HE Had Promised!

2.      The angel of the Lord said to the women, "Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified…. HE IS NOT HERE: FOR HE IS RISEN!!!"

3.      Then the angel gave an invitation to the women - "COME & SEE the place where He lay!"

4.      The Stone was REMOVED to provide evidence that Jesus is the Son of God.

5.      The angel said, "Come & See." Have YOU Come to Find the Empty Tomb and a Resurrected Lord?

C.       The Napkin Seen by Peter & John (John 20:1-8)

1.      John and Peter ran to the sepulchre of Jesus when it was told by Mary Magdaline.

2.      When they saw that linen clothes lying separate from the napkin, they believed because they knew He Lived.

III.       the stones rolled away in our lives

A.       The Resurrection teaches us that He still moves stones!

1.      The women who had come to the sepulchre had wondered how THEY could ever remove such a Great Stone!

2.      Maybe YOU too have wondered how that such an Obstacle separating you from God can ever be Rolled Away!

3.      The Good News is declared! The STONE has Already BEEN REMOVED By the Lord!

4.      There Is Nothing Left for YOU to DO except Come to HIM!!

5.      That stone being removed gave us Access to God

6.      Many Christians spend much of their time acting and behaving as if their salvation depends on them.

                                  Let the Stone Cry Out!

                                 Matt. 27:57‑28:7 ‑ Luke 19:39‑40

      I. Introduction

           A. As Jesus made His triumphant entry into the city of

Jerusalem, fulfilling prophecy (Zech. 9:9),

           people lined the road to praise God and wave palm branches in

front of Him.

           B. Because of this, some of the Pharisees asked Jesus to

rebuke His disciples.

           C. Jesus responded by saying, "I tell you that, if these

should hold their peace, the STONES would

           immediately CRY OUT!"

           D. Only days later, Jesus was arrested in the Garden of

Gethsemane, and His disciples "all forsook

           Him and fled."

           E. There was a mock trial as Jesus was taken to Annas,

Caiphas, Pilate, Herod, and back again to

           Pilate.

           F. During this time, not one word was given in support of

Him.

           G. Then, at 9:00am on the next morning, the time of the

morning sacrifice, Jesus was nailed to a

           cross.

           H. After only six hours, at 3:00pm, the time of the evening

sacrifice Jesus "bowed His head" and

           gave up the Ghost ‑ No MAN took His life from Him ‑ He laid

it down.


           I. In Luke 19, Jesus had spoken IF His disciples should hold

their peace, the STONES would

           immediately CRY OUT!

           J. Let us look this morning a one stone in particular that

did so ‑ I have entitled this Easter Message ‑

           "Let the Stone Cry Out!"

           K. The Stone that I am referring to is the Stone Placed at

the Entrance of Tomb of Jesus.

           L. Read Matt. 27:57‑28:7

           M. There are many Lessons We Can Learn from this Stone.

           N. Let Us Look At Four (4) This Easter Morning:

                1. The Significance of the Stone in Place

                2. The Security of the Stone in Place

                3. The Significance of the Removal of the Stone

                4. The Sight Provided by the Removal of the Stone

      II. The Significance of the Stone in Place (Matt. 27:57‑60)

           A. The STONE represented a "barrier between the Living &

Dead.

           B. The Stone symbolized and signified that Jesus had Died ‑

He had fulfilled all that He came to

           earth to do ‑ "to give His life a ransom for all."

           C. God’s Word is clear on the purpose and intent of Jesus

Christ coming into this world ‑ 1 Tim.

           1:15 ‑ "Christ Jesus came into the world to SAVE Sinners."

           D. There is no greater love in the universe than this ‑

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man

           lay down his life for a friend."

           E. The Stone supported that Jesus "Died for our sins


according to the Scriptures and that He was

           Buried¼."

           F. Isa. 53:9 ‑ "And He made His grave with the wicked, and

with the rich in His death; because He

           had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth."

           G. Yes, Jesus had died as He said would; He did not faint or

swoon, as some apostates would have

           us believe ‑ He DIED just exactly as the Scriptures foretold.

      III. The Security of the Stone in Place (Matt. 27:62‑66)

           A. The enemies of Jesus were just as afraid of Him after His

death as when He was alive.

           B. They besought Pilate that they might somehow ensure that

the body of Jesus be guarded, lest

           some of His disciples steal it away.

           C. Pilate said, "Make it as SURE as ye can!"

           D. They did so by "Setting a Watch of soldiers" to guard The

Stone which was placed in front of the

           sepulchre.

           E. They also made The Stone secure by "Sealing" it. This was

done by placing a cord across the

           entire stone and sealing it with clay at each end.

           F. Little did these Pharisees know that they were giving

support to the evidence that Jesus truly rose

           from the grave.

           G. A Roman soldier knew that to fall asleep on duty or to

fail to fulfill his task meant certain death.

           They were quite professional in their duties.

           H. The only way that the tomb COULD BE EMPTY would be for

Jesus TO Rise from the Dead!


           I. The Pharisees failed to realize that no rock, seal, guard,

or army could prevent the Son of God

           from rising from the dead.

      IV. The Significance of the Removal of the Stone (Matt. 28:1‑4)

           A. The Stone was ROLLED AWAY!

           B. The earth began to quake on that first day of the week, as

the angel of the Lord descended from

           heaven and rolled The Stone away from the door of the

sepulchre.

           C. Those that guarded the tomb of Christ became fearful,

shook, and fell down as dead men.

           D. My friend, "Whenever YOU see the Power of Almighty God,

you cannot help by fall down

           before Him as a dead man!!!"

           E. Notice that the "angel SAT upon The Stone". There is also

significance in this as well.

           F. Why SIT Upon The Stone??? ~Signified Victory of Jesus~

                1. The Stone symbolized a barrier between the Living &

Dead; Now that Jesus Had

                Risen, "Death Had Been Conquered!"

                2. Rev. 1:18 ‑ "I am He that liveth, and was dead; and

behold, I am alive for evermore,

                Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."

                3. The Stone which had been secured by guards had now

been removed from the

                mouth of the tomb.

                4. All enemies of the Lord will one day be put under His

feet just as The Stone was

                under the angel.

                5. The women who had come to the sepulchre had wondered

how THEY could ever

                remove such a Great Stone!


                6. Maybe YOU too have wondered how that such an Obstacle

separating you from

                God can ever be Rolled Away!

                7. The Good News is declared! The STONE has Already BEEN

REMOVED By the

                Lord!

                8. There Is Nothing Left for YOU to DO except Come to

HIM!!

      V. The Sight Provided by the Removal of the Stone (Matt. 28:5‑7)

           A. The Purpose of removing The Stone WAS NOT to allow Jesus

to Get Out, but So others could

           Get IN and SEE that Jesus had indeed Risen from the Dead,

just as HE Had Promised!

           B. The angel of the Lord said to the women, "Fear not ye: for

I know that ye seek Jesus, which was

           crucified¼. HE IS NOT HERE: FOR HE IS RISEN!!!"

           C. Then the angel gave an invitation to the women ‑ "COME &

SEE the place where He lay!"

           D. The Stone was REMOVED to provide evidence that Jesus is

the Son of God.

           E. Evidence Provided by Resurrection:

                1. Proved Jesus IS the Son of God (Rom. 1:4)

                2. Verifies the Scriptures (Ps. 16:10; 110:1)

                3. Provides the Basis of our Salvation (1 Cor. 15)

                4. Initiates the Present Ministry of Christ (Heb.

7:23‑28)

                5. Guarantees Our Future Resurrection (1 Thess. 4; Jn.

14:19)

                6. Authenticates Future Judgment of Unbelievers (Acts

17:31)

                7. Basis of the Christian’s Lively Hope (1 Pet. 1:3‑5)

                8. It is the Source of Victorious Christian Living


(Phil. 4:13)

           F. The angel said, "Come & See." Have YOU Come to Find the an

Empty Tomb and a Resurrected

           Lord?

      VI. The Napkin Seen by Peter & John (John 20:1‑8)

           A. John and Peter ran to the sepulchre of Jesus when it was

told byMary Magdaline.

           B. When they saw that linen clothes lying separate from the

napkin, they believed because they knew

           He Lived.

           C. They also knew that the head was separate from the body,

just as the Head (Jesus) is today

           separate from the body (Church).

           D. The fact that the napkin was folded (wrapped together) is

significant for us all to understand ‑

           JESUS IS COMING AGAIN!!!

           E. Read ‑ John 14:1‑3; 1 Cor. 15:19‑20; 51‑58.

           F. ARE YOU READY???? "COME & SEE FOR YOURSELF!"

7.      And of course we become depressed and discouraged when we find ourselves in impossible circumstances.

a)      Each of us face our own tomb where our hopes and dreams seem to be buried and sealed.

b)      Each of us face our personal Red Sea, when our enemies appear to outnumber us, and when God seems to have forgotten us.

c)      The Resurrection of Jesus teaches us that God will not forget us! He still moves stones.

Consider Moses.  Moses , the shepherd of Midian, seemed to have been given a hopeless mission to liberate and save his people from centuries of slavery in Egypt. All God asked him to do was to lead them out of Egypt. Egypt was the oldest, strongest, most powerful, most advanced, and most civilized civilization in the known world. Moses didn't seem to have a chance.

But it was at the Red Sea, when all hope seemed to be gone, when all seemed to be lost, hen there was no solution, when the sea itself seemed to be the final resting place for the Israelite slaves, when God intervened. God said to Moses, O.K. You have done your part. Now stand back and let me do mine.

And those were the words that empowered Moses to stand before the Red Sea, to believe that when he lowered his staff the Sea would open, and say to the Israelites, Do not be afraid.

Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today (Exodus 14:13).

8.      Deliverance. Salvation. Rescue. Redemption. Freedom. Those are the words and those are the themes that Christians think about in the spring — and we do so because the tomb is empty. He still moves stones!

B.        What are some of the stones that need to be removed

1.      Stone of pride and plenty of time Salvation

2.      Stones of Doubt – Thomas

3.      Stones of Selfishness

4.      Stones of  troubles

a)      Financial

b)      Physical

c)      Family

d)     Fear of Death

ARE YOU READY???? "COME & SEE FOR YOURSELF!"

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