The 2017 Lutheran Schools’ Week Theme is “Upon this Rock.” According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a rock is literally “made from a large mass of stone.” Why does that matter? Because in all four Gospels, regarding the resurrection of Jesus, “They found the STONE rolled away from the entrance to the tomb” (Luke 24:2, GNT). The stone. Not the rock.
During first-century Rome, crucifixion was the way to “do away” with criminals. It was commonplace. We make a rather big deal about Jesus being crucified because, after all, He was God. How could these people be so blind? But this crude, humiliating, and painful manner of death was indeed unoriginal. Similarly, today an injection would be given to the “worst of the worst” criminal.
While Christians rightly remember the suffering and execution of our Savior, I want to focus on the stone itself. As a few of the many female followers of Jesus arrived at the tomb to prepare His body for burial, the stone had been rolled away. It was massive. It had been physically guarded all night by a Roman soldier, according to Matthew’s Gospel. It wasn’t moving. Period.
Until Easter morning. It was the stone … not that God-forsaken cross … which first awakened faith in the women. The cross only screamed death. But the stone was the answer to a prayer not yet spoken; because, well … dead is dead.
Every other criminal ever publicly crucified remained dead. But not this innocent One. Not God. Not ever. No stone was going to seal God’s almighty power. His preordained plan was redemption for all of mankind, and redemption is alive. Not dead. And no stone was going to rock that truth.
This year’s LSW theme verse is based around the word rock: “Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock” (Isaiah 26:4). You’re going to hear a lot about rocks, regarding Jesus, during this week. And it strongly depicts our amazing God.
But remember—rock literally comes from stone; not the other way around. And if that stone hadn’t gloriously moved, there would be no powerful “Rock” on which to stand during the countless storms of our brief lives.
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