The Rolling Stone

Title: The Rolling Stone

Bible Book: Matthew 28 : 1-10

Author: Jerry N. Watts

Subject: Resurrection



Very few, if any, have trouble recognizing the name “Rolling Stones.” For good or bad, this Rock and Roll group & fan base has created a culture rarely seen. This rock group is not the “original” rolling stone.

Today, we have read about the original rolling stone. And in this stone we discover the required power to change a culture, country, & a soul.

All my life I’ve had a vivid imagination. Whether a “blessing or curse”, it was never enough simply to verbalize, I always had to visualize. Every time I read this text, I get chill bumps about the happenings. To visualize the ladies coming to a “GRAVE” at dawn, an earthquake, the massive stone move, and then there is this guy dressed in white. As a child, I was afraid of even being around death, grave yards, and funeral homes. When I worked in a funeral home, I was called to “spend the night” there. To get to the apartment, I had to get in the elevator and go to second floor. It was a little spooky when I pressed the button and the elevator wouldn’t move. (I repeated this about 10 times) Finally, I realized that I needed to press 2 instead of 1 (where I was). As a teen, we’d drive in the cemetery & watch the lights off the tombstones.

Three men talking about their funerals and what they wanted people to say while looking at their casket; 1) He was a good family man, 2) He was a good Christian, 3) look, I think He’s moving!

Jesus was killed! Jesus was buried!! Jesus moved and is still moving today!! The stone was rolled away and the tomb was empty!! Let ask and answer 3 simple questions about the rolling stone!


Please understand that I am not trying to be cute nor exhaustive in answering this question, I am only trying to be practical.

a) To Display Its Contents

By nature, a grave seems mysterious. As a kid, we used to walk around the cemetery and see ant beds on a grave and wonder what was in there. In Jesus day, they took great care for the dead, that’s why the women were coming. And they knew that to properly take care of Jesus, the stone had to be removed and the question was “who” would do it. Little did they know, God would do it.

Think about this; had the believers “said” Jesus was alive & the stone was still in place, they could have been labeled ‘idiots’ or ‘liars.’ We should never forget that the “STONE wasn’t rolled away for Jesus to get out; it was rolled away so we could get in!” Some might say this sounds like magic or science fiction like this was one too many episodes of Star Trek; “beam me up Scottie.”

However, look at the Bible Evidence. In Acts 5 we find the Apostles in Jail and in the middle of the night an angel appeared and freed them from jail. To the Apostles the doors appeared to “open” however, the next day the police found the doors securely locked.” In Acts 8 Phillip baptized the Ethiopian official and then was “taken away” & later “appeared” about 20 miles to the north doing ministry. At the end of Luke 24, Jesus’ appearance was almost ghost-like. Never forget, the power of God is not limited by matter. God is the creator of it all and He can do whatever He desires. He desire for us to see in the tomb, so the stone was removed.

b) To Dispel the Critics

The critics and naysayers have been long documented in history. If there are any “non-believers” here today, why not ask the people THERE, the eye-witnesses. The guards were there and knew what happened. Furthermore, they told they told the truth until they were bribed to lie and promised protection.

To understand the process by which history is confirmed is to realize that we look at the evidence rather than proof and we consider the “probable” never what’s “possible.” There have been critics all down through History. Satan has aimed his guns at discounting the resurrection because if he can disprove the resurrection, if Jesus is still in the ground, salvation is a fraud. One time I heard a preacher say that there is more historical evidence in favor of the resurrection that there are for some of the wars in days past. Frank Morrison set out to write a book which disproved the resurrection. The book he wrote (after due diligence) was “Who Moved the Stone?” Josh McDowell was asked by a college intellectual why he would believe in the myths of the Bible. He responded, “I cannot get away from Resurrection.”

If the guards and Leaders could have produced a body, they would have and ended the debate. “IF” there had been a conspiracy, the disciples had to be in on it. Chuck Swindoll tells of Nixon’s Watergate saga and puts it this way, “these men were told if we would stick together with their stories, we would be fine. Yet, in less than 2 weeks people were caving in & NOT at threat of their lives, but jail time.” IN all psychological history, no one would ever die for a lie. Yet, if the critics are correct, all the disciples died for what they knew to be a lie.

Today, the empty tomb is the Gibraltar for the Gospel. We can visit the graves of Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius, or even Joe Smith and find that those graves are all occupied! Today, we can only visit the grave where Jesus was! The stone is rolled away for all to see & know.


If God rolled the stone for display it contents and dispels it critics, who was the target? I suggest 3 groups;

a) Sinners

Well this covers all of mankind. The wages of sin is still death, but through Jesus’ death and resurrection, the gift of God is eternal life. God loved the world (you and me) so much that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in His would not perish, but have ever lasting life. God knows our sin and He knows our need. Through this empty tomb, He’s made a way to meet our need. If you have never thought about giving your life to Christ, may I say this to you: In Jesus there are indeed at least 3 things which God does not know. He does not know a sinner He doesn’t love. He does not know a sin which He doesn’t hate. He doesn’t know a heart that He cannot mend. It’s all because of this empty tomb. In fact, because He rose, one day we can rise with Him.

b) Seekers

To be a seeker is to go out of your way to try and find something. If can be an answer, a mate, a deal, a car, and a person. We see that the women came seeking and because they were seeking Jesus, they were invited in to confirm that Jesus was as good as His word. Think about all those who sought Jesus at the tomb; Mary Magdalene, Mary Salome, Mary (Mother of James), Peter, John, and for the last 2000+ years, seekers continue going to the tomb. And for those who go to the tomb, the story is the same, He is not there. And the invitation to “Come and See” is only amended by the invitation to “Come and Follow.” For a seeker, the resurrected Jesus, His arms open wide, invited all to come. Come and find grace, peace, mercy, love, and life.

The sad truth is not everyone “really” seeks Jesus. Just like the culture of the first century, many are so caught up in the things of this world, that they miss the greatest gift God could give.

Some think that Easter and Christmas are all of God and His Son they need. Many times folks with this limited connection to God have just enough knowledge to make them miserable.

Some wait until the most difficult time of their lives, they wait until tragedy strikes. Here is your word of Hope for today; if you HONESTLY seek the Lord, you will find Him? How do I know this? First, the Bible tells me so. Second, because I found Him. Third, because of the empty tomb. Jesus is alive, well, and waits for you.

c) Saints

Those who have received Christ are called “Saints” and the rolled stone is our monument to “life from death.”


For some, Jesus is put away in securely in a sealed tomb. It has been sealed with sin and unbelief. Just like the Chief Priest and Elders, some have chosen to believed lie rather than trust the evidence. For those, the stone remains securely in place.

The result of this is that it is no longer Jesus who is held captive by death and sin but it is you. The Bible says if you are in this state, then you are dead. Paul writes in Ephesians that we are “dead in trespasses & sin and unbelief.”

Think about it this way, if I am still dead in my sin, then the stone is still covering the tomb for me because I have not met the living Savior. Easter is all about the living Savior giving new life to spiritually dead people.

It brings me no pleasure to say but, for the person who has never come to Jesus and met the one who has overcome death and hell, the future is pretty bleak. A life that has no personal knowledge of Jesus, His forgiveness, His grace, His mercy, and His love will never know the full life which is available here on earth and the eternal life available in heaven. The fact is, to die without Christ in your life will lead to what the Bible refers to as the 2nd death. The is no way to make it look or sound good, no matter how you say it or how your play it, Hell is a place of torment and is like a great white shark devouring all who reject a relationship to Jesus. It is like a locked room of which you cannot get out.

The old movie “Wargames” is built on the premise of all our defenses being controlled by a computer. This computer learns how to “fight a war” by playing games all the time. Every movie tries to make a cultural statement and the statement for this movie came after the computer plays a myriad of games that is war scenarios, to see how to win a World War. After many exciting special effects the computer spoke the conclusion, “Unusual game, the only way to win is NOT to play.” In this locked room, the only way to get out is to do so NOW, before death. The Key to the lock is held by the risen Lord.

For some, the Rolling Stone has rolled away burdens because you have trusted in Jesus. You understand that life, while not perfect, makes sense because God is leading.

I began this message thinking about the old rock group. It could be argued that The Rolling Stones help change a society. However, THE Rolling Stone can Change a Soul…John 3:16 / Rom 10:13

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