Thursday March 3
The Rock that Moved - John 20:1 (NIV)
“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary of Magdala went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.”
Rocks seem to figure large in the Bible. The Ten Commandments were carved out of stone. Moses struck the rock incurring God’s wrath for his disobedience. Then, there is the imagery of Jesus, the chief cornerstone, which becomes a stumbling block to unbelievers and the foundation of faith to all believers. And when Jesus entered Jerusalem to the acclaim of many of his followers, his critics were jealous and critical. Jesus replied, “If they keep quiet even these stones would cry out!” (Luke 19:40). Rocks seem to represent strength, stability and firm foundations. Somehow even rocks are able to praise God when no one else does.
While in Hawaii to visit with Clarence De Lude, our native Hawaiian man studying to be a pastor, who works with his own people, he took me to the Big Island where there is a museum dedicated to the early Polynesians who settled the islands. Brave and courageous and skillful people, they sailed across thousands of miles of rough ocean to come to these isolate islands. They carried with them a rich heritage and culture that is kept alive to this day.
One of their traditions had to do with a rock.
It was called the Naha Stone. It was heavy and was used as a test of leadership and strength. Whoever could move the stone was thought to possess the skill and power to lead the people and rule the land. Kamehameha, the eventual king of all the Hawaiian Islands, is said to have moved the stone, thus establishing his authority to lead, conquer his enemies, and unite all of the Hawaiian people under one rule.
This reminded me so much of what Jesus had done for us in His willingness to become, for us, the Rock of our salvation. He not only became the Rock of our salvation by giving of His own life, but the removal of the stone, that had been placed over the tomb where He had been buried, seems the ultimate proof of His power over sin, death and the devil.
The rock that sealed Him in the tomb and seemed to doom His mission to save us was moved by the power of God! He lives! And because Jesus our King lives, we too can live forever! He truly is the Rock of our salvation!
This season of Lent, let us submit to Jesus our King and follow Him. He has demonstrated His worthiness and His love for us.
God our Father,
Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to be our Savior.
n His Name, Amen.
Rev. Dr. Don Johnson (Makah) - Executive Director