He Rolled the Stone(s) Away

Symbolism saturates the Bible, from the waters of baptism that wash away our sins to the Holy Communion that represents Christ’s body. God loves symbols. He put the rainbow in the sky to symbolize his promise and instructed his people to erect stones to remind them of HIS promises. The tribes of Israel were even arranged as they are in heaven! It is no surprise, then, that even the resurrection contains a symbol. You see, in the Old Testament people were sometimes sentenced to death for their sins. It was the worst sins that evoked this sentence. And it’s method? The culprit was put in the middle of a circle and stoned to death. It should come as no surprise, then, that when Jesus resurrected from the dead, He rolled the stone away. Not just the large stone in front of his grave, but every stone of death. The stone of adultery, the stone of drunkenness, the stone of murder – all were rolled away by Jesus. He took the burden and the shame and the sting away, deflecting every stone destined and intended for us – saving us from eternal death. Yes, he rolled the stone away. Every single one.

Jesus, the Sacrificial Lamb

When studying for this week’s devo I learned about astonishing correlations between Jesus and the sacrificial lamb that was used for sacrifice:

1. After being selected for sacrifice, the sacrificial lamb was wrapped in swaddling clothes. This places new significance on the mention of Jesus being wrapped in swaddling cloth when found by the shepherds. And these were not ordinary shepherds. These shepherds were, specifically, Levitical shepherds who took care of the lambs for the temple sacrifice in Jerusalem. This had significant meaning and symbolism for both them and us. 

2. The sacrificial lambs used for sacrifice in Jerusalem came from Bethlehem. Jesus was born in Bethlehem. 

3. The sacrificial lamb had to be male, just like Jesus. 

4. The sacrificial lamb had to be perfect, without blemish. Jesus was our sinless, perfect sacrifice. 

5. The sacrificial lamb had to be in the prime of his life at 1 year of age. Jesus died in the prime of his life, at 33. 

6. 6 days before sacrifice, the sacrificial lamb was presented to the high priest. 6 days before the Crucifixion, Jesus was presented to the people on an unridden donkey and rode through the city gates (a rite reserved only for kings). 

7. 6 days before slaughter, the sacrificial lamb was inspected by the priest and his feet were anointed with oil. 6 days before the Crucifixion, the “Immoral Woman” anointed Jesus’ feet with oil in the house of Simon the leper. 

8. 2 days before Passover, the sacrificial lamb was given a final inspection by the priest and his head was anointed with oil. 2 days before the Crucifixion, Jesus’ head was anointed with oil by the woman at Bethany. 

9. Just as the sacrificial lamb was sacrificed at the ninth hour (3:00), Jesus, too, died at the ninth hour. 

10. A blood sacrifice was required for the Passover, and Jesus shed his blood for us. 

11. The sacrificial lamb is to have no broken bones, even after death. Jesus bones were not broken (even though it was customary to break the legs of the crucified men). 

12. There were to be no leftovers of the sacrificial lamb. Jesus body was taken off the cross before sundown. -April Estes, sweetmimosa.blog

Amazing the similarities! But we do not serve a God of chance, but a God who is deliberate, thoughtful and a lover of symbolism. He shows us proof even without asking! Praise be to God!