The Stone’s Other Side

Gary Wilkerson

“Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away” (Matthew 27:59–60, ESV).

Jesus had just been crucified and was now lying in a tomb. As a massive stone was rolled to seal the doorway, everyone had a sad sense of finality. Scripture says a group of women was sitting opposite the tomb. Those women must have been heartbroken. I can almost hear the despair in their voices. “What will happen now that Jesus is gone? How do we go on?”

Today, we know the end of the story. When Jesus said from the cross, “It is finished,” he had conquered sin. We know that with his resurrection he had conquered death.

I do not think we can fathom what Jesus’s death meant to his passionate followers. They had believed their master was the hope of the world, the salvation of Israel, the light to the Gentiles. He was the great healer, raising the dead, setting captives free, preaching the good news to the poor. He was the embodiment of the new kingdom that he preached about. As they thought back to his words, “It is finished,” they must have thought he meant, “It’s over. This is the end of the story.”

All too often, as Christians endure the trials of life, this is the message they believe. They see no hope beyond their difficult situation. All they can see is a stone permanently rolled into place separating them from hope. However, they are seeing things from this side of the stone. If only they knew what God is doing for them on the other side of the stone.

Maybe life has presented you with a hard, impossible situation. As you read this, do you wonder, “Is God at work in my circumstance? Is Jesus really triumphant in me? Can he really save me from this situation? I just don’t see a way forward.”

God is on the move in your life at this very moment. The stone is being rolled away. Light is breaking forth, and your hope stands there in the doorway: Jesus! He has triumphed over all the powers of darkness, and his victory is yours by faith.