Stone Rolled Away

Stone rolled away, but not to let Jesus out

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John 20 Bible Study

John 20:1 Stone Rolled Away

John 20:2-10 He Is Risen
John 20:11-18 (A) Jesus and Mary Magdalene
John 20:11-18 (B) Roman Soldiers
John 20:19-23 Peace Be With You
John 20:24-31 My Lord and My God
JOHN 20:1  1 Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.

Matthew 28 and Mark 16 provide additional details on the stone rolled away.

Matthew 28:1-4  1 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled away the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

Mark 16:1-5  1 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away - for it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.

Who went to the tomb?
Three women: "Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome" (Mark 16:1).

When did they go?
Sunday morning, which corresponds to "the first day of the week" (John 20:1) in the Jewish calendar, since the Sabbath ends on Saturday. And since Jesus died on Friday and the Jews counted any part of a day as 'one day,' it was now the third day after His death on the cross.

Who rolled away the stone?
"an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled away the stone." (Matthew 28:2)

Who saw the stone being rolled away?
The guards. Based on the three accounts above, the women got their just after the stone had been rolled away.

How many angels were there?
At least two who were visible. One "sat on" (Matthew 28:2) the stone, and the other sat "on the right side" (Mark 16:5) inside the tomb.

What did the angels look like?
To the women, they looked like "young man in a long white robe" (Mark 16:5), but to the guards, their face was like "lightening" (Matthew 28:3) and so fearsome that they "shook for fear of him, and became like dead men." (Matthew 28:4)

Did the angel roll away the stone to let Jesus out?
The Bible doesn't say that. The Bible says that the stone was rolled away to show the women that, "He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him" (Mark 16:6). The Creator of the universe doesn't need to wait for angels to let Him out; He comes and goes through walls as He pleases, as He did again later this day, "when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” (John 20:19)

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