From Biblical scriptures, we learn that Jesus was buried after the crucifixion and before the eve of the Sabbath, as indicated in the New Testament. We also learn that he was placed in the tomb by Joseph of Arimathea, who was a councilor in the Sanhedrin. We learn that on the day of Jesus’ resurrection, an angel of the Lord rolled over the stone used to cover His tomb. So, how big was the stone that was in front of Jesus’ tomb?
According to some archeologists, the stone that was in front of Jesus’ tomb was approximately four to six feet in diameter and 1 inch thick. One or two men could move the stone in place but moving it to open the tomb’s entrance was difficult.
What did the stone covering Jesus’ tomb look like? How heavy was the stone that covered Jesus’ tomb? How tall was the stone that covered Jesus’ tomb? Why was Jesus’ tomb sealed with a stone? Is there a symbolic significance to the stone that covered Jesus’ tomb? Who rolled over the stone that covered Jesus’ tomb? Read this article to discover all the answers to these questions and other information relevant to the topic.
What did the stone covering Jesus’ tomb look like?
The most popular depictions of the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ show that a large circular stone was rolled at the entrance of Jesus’ tomb. According to archeology research, the tomb in Jerusalem in the 1st Century was closed either by a large square plug or a huge circular stone.
Synoptic Gospels such as Luke, Matthew, and Mark use the Greek verb kulio. Kulio means to ‘roll .’This means that the shape of the stone covering the entrance of the tomb could be circular. Alternatively, other archeologists claim that the stone was cork-shaped. They argue that the cork-shaped stone could have as well been rolled. However, regardless of the shape of the stone, the reality is that the stone was large and difficult to move.
How heavy was the stone that covered Jesus’ tomb?
According to archeologists, the stone could weigh between one to two tons. This is equivalent to 2000 to 4000 pounds. Despite it being quite heavy, two men or one man could somehow move it into place, as indicated in Matthew 27;60, which states, ‘And laid it in his new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher, and departed.’. The difficult task was rolling the stone over to open the tomb.
How tall was the stone that covered Jesus’ tomb?
According to some archeologists, the entrance of a Jewish tomb was somehow small therefore making the stone that covered Jesus’ tomb to be about 4-6’ in diameter. The rolling stone was sandwiched between a stone wall that secured it from falling and the tomb entrance. To close the tomb, the stone would have to be rolled down the groove at a decline so that it can rest at the entrance. To open it at an incline, the rolling stone would have to be rolled up the groove. At times, the groove was slightly sloped and not level.
Why was Jesus’ tomb sealed with a stone?
Once they were sure that everything was done correctly, Joseph of Arimathea rolled a huge stone to cover the tomb, as indicated in Matthew 27:6 and Mark 15:46. Finding a stone entrance to a Jewish tomb was rare in Biblical times. This is because, for most Jewish tombs, the doors to the tombs had certain types of hinges. Therefore, it is evident that they sealed the tomb with a stone to make the burial site more permanent. They also did this to secure the body since the chief priests feared that Jesus’ disciples would come and steal the body and later on claim that Jesus has resurrected. They feared that if that would happen, the error would be worse than the first.
Is there a symbolic significance to the stone that covered Jesus’ tomb?
Jesus died to pay for our sins, and He rose again for our justification. The stone was rolled over by the angel of the Lord to demonstrate that divine justice was satisfied. The rolling of a great stone signified the contracting of guilt, as shown in 1 Samuel 14:33.
In man’s path of happiness, there lies a massive rock that blocks the path completely. In the ascent to immortality, the stone of doubt, unbelief, and uncertainty blocked all progress. The women who were at the tomb faced three difficulties. The stone was huge, guarded by the representatives of power, and had a stamp of the seal of the law. Death itself is a huge stone that cannot be removed by any power or strength known to mortals. It symbolizes that God sent death as a penalty for offending the law.
The stone also signified that rest is provided. The angel who rolled over the stone seemed to demonstrate this as he sat down upon the stone and also how quietly and leisurely the whole resurrection process was affected. This stone was also used to signify that there is a foundation laid. That stone was rolled away from the sepulcher certifying as it does the resurrection of Christ, which is a foundation stone for the faith of Christians.
Who rolled over the stone that covered Jesus’ tomb?
According to Matthew 28:2, which states that ‘There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it,’ it is evident that the stone that covered Jesus’ tomb was rolled over by an angel of the Lord. The angels frequently attended to Jesus in His agony, at His birth, and in His temptation. When Jesus died, the angel of the Lord came and rolled the stone. Jesus could have rolled the stone Himself with the help of his power but instead chose to have it done by an angel of the Lord to show that He had a fair and legal discharge from heaven. He didn’t break prison but instead was sent an officer to roll over the stone for Him, which wouldn’t have been done if He had not made satisfaction. Christ’s enemies had sealed the stone, but all powers of darkness and death are controlled by the God of life and light. The angel sitting upon the stone signifies a secure triumph over all the hindrances of Jesus Christ’s resurrection.
- Rolling away of the stone
- Open Bible
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- Buried and Sealed: Jesus in the Tomb
- What kind of stone sealed Jesus’ tomb?
- The size of the stone covering Jesus’ tomb.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.