Why was the stone rolled from Jesusí tomb?
Is it possible that the stone was rolled away so that the Lord could come out?
Not so. The stone was not rolled away for Him to come out. He did not have any
need of that. We find, later on, in the accounts of His appearances, that at one
point the disciples were hidden away in a room where the windows and doors were
closed and locked and Jesus Christ just walked right in. He needed no door. No
wall could hold Him out. (See John 20:19 - 31)
In His resurrection body, He could walk through the stone walls of that tomb.
No, the stone was rolled away so that we could look in. It was rolled away for
our sakes, so that the empty tomb could be visible to all. The empty tomb is the
greatest evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in all of history. I
believe it is indisputable evidence. Cynics and critics have tried to explain it
away, and they have not been able to. The empty tomb still stands as evidence to
all that Jesus is not dead, that the bonds of death could not hold Him. He is
Some say it was the wrong tomb. But if it was the wrong tomb, the Pharisees and
the Sadducees who put Jesus to death certainly would have found the right tomb,
rolled the stone away, and produced the dead and decaying body of Jesus Christ.
But they were unable to because it was the right tomb, and it was empty. All of
the great religious leaders of history have lived and died, and their bodies are
buried today. Only Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Only Jesus Christ broke the
bonds of death and hell and came forth as victor.
I found this commentary in my Bible and I would like to share it with you:
Jesus' tomb was secured in three ways:
(a) A large stone was rolled against it. It was customary to roll big stones
against tombs; the stones were generally too big to be moved by just a few men,
so levers were used to move them. Some have estimated that the stone that sealed
Jesus' tomb weighed 1-1/2 to 2 two tons (1,361-1,814 Kilograms), which is the
approximate weight of a midsize car.
(b) A Roman guard unit--which usually consisted of four soldiers--was stationed
at the tomb. Roman guards were strictly disciplined fighting men held to the
highest standards. Failure often required death by torturous and humiliating
(c) The Roman seal was affixed to the stone that secured the tomb. The seal
stood for the power and authority of the Roman Empire. Breaking the seal meant
automatic execution by crucifixion upside down. Anyone trying to move the stone
from the tomb's entrance would have broken the seal and thus incurred the wrath
of Roman law.
On resurrection Sunday morning, the first thing that impressed the people who
approached the tomb was that the large stone was moved. Certainly the entire
guard unit would not have fallen asleep with torture and death as the
consequences. But even if the guards did fall asleep, how could thieves have
sneaked by the guards and moved the massive stone without waking them up? Jesus
did not need to have the angels roll the stone away. He was already resurrected
and walking the earth when the women came to anoint his body with spices.
I really do not think that anyone wanted to roll the stone back again. The empty
grave is proof that our Savior is no longer dead but is now risen as He has
said. By Jesus resurrection, he demonstrated that he had greater power than sin
and death. Jesus is an overcomer and that is His will for our lives too. In
Jerusalem the tomb of Jesus still exists.
Why was the stone rolled from Jesus tomb? I don't suppose that there is an
infinitive answer to this question, but I will try to give you my thoughts and
the biblical reason behind them.
First let us see what the scripture has to say about the stone.
1. Could a man move it?
Yes. Joseph rolled the stone in place, and even if he had help, men could move
it. Matt 27:59-60 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean
linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock:
and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.
2. Did man try to keep it sealed?
Yes. Mt 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.
3. Why was the stone rolled from Jesus tomb?
This is my answer based on the years that I have pondered the word of my Lord.
John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me
where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou
lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the
world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
1Peter 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but
was manifest in these last times for you.
1Peter 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and
gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not
according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was
given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:
and I will raise him up at the last day.
Praise God that He will draw all and all will have opportunity to receive this
great plan of redemption.
John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
My answer; Thru the years I have watched and listened to a great number of
preachers and teachers that are recognized by this worlds religion as being
great and true authorities on God and His plan. But personally I believe many
have missed the mark. Does this mean that I believe they are not saved or called
of God to preach, no, it does not. However I do see a problem with many of the
great denominational "truths" that are purported today. It would seem that every
denomination and even those who claim to have no denominational affliction, have
added their particular idea to God's salvation plan. Some are very educationally
motivated and others are almost resentful of any education. So it would seem
that each of us would add our own particular twist to God's plan, even though we
would each vehemently deny doing this.
So why was the stone rolled back?
I think this is another of our Lord's reminders that He and not man has granted
salvation to man. That His righteousness is the only righteousness that can ever
satisfy Him. God prepared the redemption of man before He created man and the
one and only part that man has in that plan is the free will to reject it. Man
cannot not even decide to be saved unless God draws him to Himself.
Also this should remind us that God will save and God will direct and God will
empower those that accept His plan that they might please Him and receive the
fullness that He has for them, even if they do not belong to our particular
group or denomination.
I realize that perhaps I have belabored the point of the question, but this is
the only way I have of answering the question. May God richly bless each of you
as you prayerfully meditate on His Word.
Preacher James Avery
The rolling away of the stone was symbolic of Jesus power and authority. When
the stone was placed there, Herod's seal was placed as a sign of his authority
indicating that no one with less authority than him could move the stone or
cause it to be moved. Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lord's thus His
authority superceded Herod's and on His command, the stone was moved.
My first thought upon reading the question was: Because it was round. If it had
been square or rectangle it would not have rolled. It was a rolling stone.
But after further thought, I decided that was not a good theological answer.
Only Matthew records the actual rolling away of the stone:
"In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the
week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher. 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. His
countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: and for fear of
him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and
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, as he said. Come, see the place
where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from
the dead; and behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him:
lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulcher with fear and
great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word." Matthew 28:1-8
The reason the stone was rolled away by the angel of the Lord is undoubtedly to
show all mankind the miraculous nature of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from
the dead, that this was not done by human hand, but by divine intervention. The
great earthquake also indicates that His resurrection was divine intervention.
There is no way his resurrection could be prevented by men. Peter testified
later: "whom God hath raised up; having loosed the pains of death: because it
was not possible that He should be holden of it." Furthermore it takes a very
terrorizing event to cause the keepers to shake and become as dead men. The
glorious splendor of the light emanating from the Angel as he rolled the stone
away is what terrified the guards.
In the first place it was a huge stone that probably would need several strong
men to move. Second it had been sealed by the Roman guard and had a watch of
probably 3 to 4 soldiers guarding the tomb. The disciples were in hiding behind
locked doors for fear of the Jews. These are all factors that make it highly
unlikely that the disciples would come by night and steal away the body of
Jesus. This also shows beyond the shadow of a doubt that the rolling away of the
stone from the door of the sepulcher was Divine Intervention.
George W. Romer
God thus made it possible for the whole world to know that His Son was risen.
The first thing the women and the disciples did was to go tell the good news and
we who have heard the story just keep telling the good news. He is Risen indeed!
God's plan for reaching the world with the gospel was begun.
The troubled today is that we who do know are lazy when it comes to spreading
the word or maybe I should say too timid.
Proof that Jesus was no longer dead; to Mary Magdalena, and I forgot the other
2, I know there was another Mary.
To prove that Jesus rose from the dead. To prove he was not in the tomb, and
that God had taken Him to Heaven. To prove he rose from the dead to save us from
The stone was rolled because he had to show a sign. If He the stone wasn't
rolled no one could even believe that He has risen. The soldiers who were
guarding would also not know but to show everyone as a living testimony, the
stone had to be rolled