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Why Was the Stone Rolled Away?

Matthew 28:2

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Suddenly there was a severe earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descending from heaven came and rolled away the stone and sat on it.

Matthew 28:2 NET

At dawn of the first Easter morning, a small group of women visited Jesus’ tomb. But they were not alone. Those responsible for Jesus’ death had posted a guard at the tomb to prevent Jesus’ disciples from stealing his body and then claiming he had risen from the dead.

As the women came to the tomb, an angel, coming down from heaven, caused a great earthquake. The angel rolled away the stone that covered the entrance to the tomb and then sat down on top of the stone.

This was a very dramatic event. So much so that the guards, probably Roman soldiers, passed out from fear. But why? Why was this angel sent to roll away the stone?

It was not to allow the women to anoint a dead body. Nor to allow the resurrected Jesus to walk out of his tomb. He was already gone.

To Show the Empty Tomb

Instead, the angel rolled away the stone to show the world the tomb was empty. He invited the women to see for themselves and then tell the disciples what they had seen—a task they did with great joy.

But not everyone at the tomb that morning responded with joy. The frightened guards reported what they had seen to the Jewish officials who had posted them at the tomb. And those officials, unable to deny the empty tomb, bribed the guards to report that the disciples had stolen the body.

Few serious scholars today doubt that Jesus lived, was crucified by the Romans, was placed in a tomb, and a few days later, the tomb was empty. There are a variety of explanations given for the empty tomb. But the one given to the women by the angel sitting on the stone is the best.

He is not here, for he has been raised, just as he said. Come and see the place where he was lying. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead‘” (Matt. 28:6-7)

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

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The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

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