Joseph of Arimathea has just placed Jesus’ body in a tomb cut out of rock. It’s very important to notice what he did next. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.– Mark 15:46
Joseph of Arimathea has just placed Jesus’ body in a tomb cut out of rock. It’s very important to notice what he did next.
Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.– Mark 15:46
Mark makes a big deal about this. Why? First century Jewish burials were different to ours. The body would be placed in a tomb cut in a rock and sealed with a heavy round stone. This stone could weigh between 1 and 2 tonnes. The rolling stone was typically set in a groove in front of the entrance, and it was kept from falling forward by a stone wall built along the rock face, parallel to the tomb entrance.
This groove the stone rolled in was usually sloping down toward the entrance of the tomb; so, to open the tomb, the stone would have to be rolled up the groove at an incline. Given the way the tomb was built, it would have been impossible for Jesus, from the inside, to simply push the stone over. Also it would have been impossible to roll the stone back up the groove without having anything to grip.
nd of course, the Roman guard made it impossible for anyone to have come from the outside to remove the body. That’s why Mark makes such a big deal about the stone. Mark’s repeated emphasis on the eyewitness nature of the accounts is interesting, because it is very likely that Mark’s gospel substantially based on the recollections of the Apostle Peter. In his second epistle, chapter 1:16, Peter wrote, …we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses…The world is full of cleverly devised fables. Hold on to the truth!