“When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?’ And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples…’ And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.” Mark 16:1-8
“Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves… and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself;.. and he went home marveling at what had happened.” Luke 24:12; John 20:6-7
What did it sound like when Jesus rose from the grave? Did He evaporate from His grave clothes, fold the face cloth, and pass silently through the stone, then tell His angel to roll it to open the evidence of His departure? Were the guards in such a divinely inflicted slumber that they missed His exit? Was the earthquake before or after Jesus rose and left, and why was the shaking recorded by only one gospel writer? (Matthew 27:62-28:4)
When the first activity hummed in dawn’s early light, we are left in wonder at what He left behind: an open tomb that had been sealed, an empty tomb that had been occupied. And a resurrected Lord and Savior. Let us ponder the silent stone.
What do we miss of the effect of the Lord’s resurrection by all of our frenzied stupor and worldly listening? All resurrection is from Him, and He works in the quiet, to draw attention not to His methods but to the truths they impart. He was not one to want fanfare for coming out of the grave, but to impress on our soul that He offers resurrection power in all areas of our lives by His grace. He restores broken, impossible marriages, heals the wounded, and fulfills deepest longings. He gives wisdom in the inward parts, and exposes hidden faults. He comforts and supplies by the whisper of His presence. (1 Kings 19:11-13; Psalm 51:6,10; 139:23-24)
Would we still and quiet our souls at the silence His resurrection left, and that intends to be absorbed? What might the open tomb mean for us today in the mental, relational, and progress blockades we face? Where can we invite Him to enter and crack open our hope, our willingness to change, our ability to extend grace? What might He be longing to transform that we in pride have held back from His handling?
Lord, resurrect and enliven my faith with lessons from Your rolled away stone, that I might live in Your power and lift high Your glory. (Ephesians 1:19-21)