Recently Norma Jean and I were in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where Don Patton preaches. His wife, Zynda, gave us a brief “tour” of his in home museum of archaeological discoveries in his journeys to Biblical lands.
Looking at the various rocks, fossils and artifacts that are 2000-4000 years old is fascinating. They each have a story to tell. A record to relate. And a testimony to the accuracy of Scripture.
What if those rocks could literally talk! What an incredible chronicle of history that would be! However, I am reminded of a time when Jesus advanced this idea, if not in reality, at least in hyperbole.
When Jesus visited Jerusalem in the last week of his life it was a triumphal entry! As he descended the Mount of Olives into the city, Luke records, “the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying:
“‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
The ever critical Pharisees, who were then plotting to kill him, didn’t like it. Some of them hollered from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”
I can almost see the Savior smiling when he retorted, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” (Lk. 19:37-40)
On Friday when Jesus was crucified, the very one who should have witnessed in his favor were stone-cold silent. It began with the Judas’ kiss of betrayal. To the disciples scattering like scalded dogs. To the trio of denials by Peter.
The multitudes would turn from “Hail Him!” to “Crucify Him!” The Sandredin council slyly schemed a way to indict him. Suborned witnesses were induced to commit perjury. Jesus didn’t have a single friend to speak up for him.
Ironically the Governor found no fault in Jesus. Pilate’s wife called Jesus a just man. And at his death the Centurion soldier exclaimed, “Truly this was the son of God!”
But what did the Centurion see that elicited this response? Matthew says that at Jesus’ death the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom. The earth quaked. Graves were opened. Dead people were resurrected. And the stones were split! (Matt 27:50-54)
The rocks witnessed after all! Yes, the stones cried out “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God!”
But that was Friday. Come Sunday, the stones spoke again. This time when the large stone sealing the tomb of Jesus was rolled away and Jesus arose and walked free. Who moved the stone? Not the Roman soldiers! ! Not the fearful disciples! Not the embittered Pharisees! Not the weeping women!
If you could ask the big stone what happened, it would say, “(Jesus) was declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” Rom 1:4). The empty grave and the rolled away stone forever speaks to the Deity of Jesus
So, on Sunday when we assemble for communion, remember that all nature proclaims Christ as Lord. Even the rocks! But especially the bread you eat and the fruit of vine you drink silently say, “Remember Jesus. Your Lord. Savior. And King. He’s coming again!”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman