God Rolled Away the Stone, Not the Scars

Matthew 28:2 – And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.”

I came across a powerful podcast today that really helped me. The title of the Podcast series is “The Bible Never Said That” by Clara Donahue. The episode I listened to was “God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle.”

Among the many profound points she made was one about how Jesus was raised from the dead and given life, but He still had the wounds and scars.

Please think about that, and meditate on it. Why did God raise Jesus from the dead, give him new blood and water, allow all His organs and internal functions to work, but still leave the wounds? The wounds were a testimony to the power of God. Jesus could say to His disciples, “Place your hands in the wounds and believe.” The wounds were a witness to what God did through Jesus.

Here is a quote from Clara Donahue in the podcast, “I feel some of my own scars pulling tight on the tender healing of my soul, and I wish they would just disappear.” Amen. But those scars, she explained, are used by God to show His power, grace and love to others.

Your wounds are not a badge to claim victim-hood through life. Those wounds are a witness to the power of God and His grace. What has God done through you? Look at the scars. Consider how God has led you through your own valleys of the shadow of death and brought you out on the other side.

John 20:20 – When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

John 20:27-28 – Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

Daniel – Becoming Like the Idol

They drank the wine and praised their gods made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, or stone.
(Daniel 5:4)

In Daniel 5, God teaches King Belshazzar a very humbling and permanent lesson about his arrogance before the Lord. What I would like to think about today is that they praised their gods made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone. Daniel said these gods do not see or hear or know (Daniel 5:23).

Take a minute to think about the following passage from Psalms.

Why should other nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in heaven. He does whatever he wants. Their idols are made of silver and gold. They were made by human hands. They have mouths, but they cannot speak. They have eyes, but they cannot see. They have ears, but they cannot hear. They have noses, but they cannot smell. They have hands, but they cannot feel. They have feet, but they cannot walk. They cannot even make a sound with their throats. Those who make idols end up like them. So does everyone who trusts them. Israel, trust the LORD. He is your helper and your shield.
(Psalms 115:2-9)

Gods of earthly materials cannot see, hear, speak, smell or move. Notice what the Psalmist said about those who worship idols…

Those who make idols end up like them. So does everyone who trusts them.

Did they literally end up without any use of their senses or motor skills? No. But spiritually speaking they could not see, hear, speak or perceive anything that belongs to God. The life of worshipping idols destroys our understanding, and our ability to speak and move for God.

Do we have idolatry today? Of course, let’s look at one specific reference from the apostle Paul.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
(Colossians 3:5)

What is idolatry? Covetousness, greediness, a lust for more, more, more. It could be more money, stuff, status, approval, sexual pleasure, etc., but whatever it is it becomes our god. This is our idolatry that we worship.

Does that affect your ability to see, hear, speak and perceive the things of God? Yes, let’s listen to Jesus.

Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “‘”You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
(Matthew 13:10-17)

As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
(Matthew 13:22)

The cares and lust for this world choke the word of God and it does not do what it’s supposed to do within our hearts. Our idolatry, our lust for more, more, more, hinders us from hearing God’s word. It keeps us from speaking on God’s behalf. Our ability to perceive and understand things on a spiritual level is greatly diminished. We become like our idols. Yell at them all day long and they won’t hear. Bang at them with a hammer and they won’t flinch. This is what happens to man’s soul when he becomes entrenched in idolatry.

It’s something for us to think about today in prayer. Lord, help us to expose our idolatry. May we smash our idols before you, Lord, so that our eyes, ears, hearts, hands, feet and mouths may be used only for You.

Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
(1 John 5:21)