Pastor Simeon Afolabi
October 8, 2017
Roll Back the Stone
Main Text: Matthew 28: 1-7
The key to Jesus’ mission on earth lies in the actualisation of His resurrection. Hence His resurrection remains one of the greatest remarkable experiences that distinguishes the Christian faith from every other religion on the face of the earth. In other words, the existence and validity of the Church is dependent upon the incontestable power that resides in the resurrection of Jesus. That is why the Bible says the Church (Christians) would have been the most miserable people on earth if Christ had not risen (1 Corinthians 15: 12-19). Although Satan and his cohorts and human agents fought with every power and device at their disposal to ensure that Jesus did not rise from the dead, the Bible says Jesus rose from the dead by the glory of the Father (Romans 6: 4).
According to the Jewish tradition in regard to burial processes, their custom demands that a stone must be put on the tomb of the deceased, signifying the permanence of memory or the existence of the dead, among other things. But in Matthew 27: 62-66, we see a scenario whereby Jesus’ adversaries, who were bent on ensuring that He does not resurrect, turned the stone of tradition into the stone of adversary. In a related story in John 11: 1-44, we also see a situation whereby Lazarus’ sister (Martha) almost denied him the miracle of being raised from the dead as a result of her strong attachment to tradition (John 11: 38, 39, Mark 7: 13).
So, within the context of the aforementioned scenarios, this message allegorises Jesus and Lazarus’ stories in relation to various challenges we sometimes face in life. Metaphorically, the message talks about three types of stones that must be rolled back in our life: the stone of tradition (Matthew 28: 1-4), the stone of the adversary (Matthew 27: 62-66) and the self-imposed stone (Luke 15: 11-32). What are the characteristics and nomenclature of each stone and how can they be rolled back in our life? Find out this and many more in this insightful and revealing message.