Disc or Cork?
The dawn of Easter is just gleaming above the horizon. While searching online concerning a different topic, I stumbled upon this question: Was the stone that sealed Jesus’s tomb a round disc or cork-shaped? Now those of you with Spirit fullness, just hush up please, and let me continue. In fact, you can tune out if you like–I don’t want you giving away my punch line.
Here is what the debate concerns:
Some scholars say disc, and some say cork shaped.
I must confess that as a younger Christian, I always wondered about that stone that sealed Jesus’s tomb. In my mind, I imagined a great boulder shaped object, like an enormous marble, rolled against the opening of the tomb. It didn’t quite fit.
Once upon a day, the Lord arranged a visit for me to the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem (The Garden Tomb). Given the opportunity to stay with a dear friend at her long-time home on a kibbutz near Haifa, I noticed there a gigantic disc shaped stone, like an enormous round coin. This, my friend told me, is what some used to seal tombs carved into rock. A few days later, when I visited The Garden Tomb, I saw there a groove in front of the opening in which just such a disc could be placed. Light flooded my brain.
Now, I am by no means suggesting that this anecdotal experience weighs in with any scholarly importance whatsoever. It doesn’t. It’s just that being able to visualize how a rock could seal a flat, rectangular door actually helped my faith in Scripture. Yes, I realize that my faith must have been very small. Nevertheless, God is gracious.
Within the Tomb–Grace Upon Grace
The day I visited Christ’s tomb, I was virtually alone in the Garden. Some kind gentlemen took my picture, then they, too, left. Visitors in that era were permitted to enter the tomb, which is what I did. As I just said, I was virtually alone in the entire Garden, so I set my bag down, sat down, and remained awhile. Long enough to read the signs and Scripture two or three times and to be still. Then, like doubting Thomas when Jesus appeared to him and said, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe,” (John 20:27) I believed. Because, you see, the tomb was empty. Then I could get up and leave. No more thought was necessary. I had seen what the Lord in his grace had taken me half way around the world to see. Grace upon grace upon grace.
Now this is the truth that “those with Spirit fullness” (see first paragraph) already know. Jesus is Alive!! How do they know? By experience. How did I come to believe that the tomb was empty? By experience: I sat in an empty tomb.
John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
But God’s love is full of grace. For those who need to see in order to believe, God creates for them experiences of sight. We learn of God through his Word and through the hands-on activities of the Holy Spirit in our lives. So…
Believe and be blessed!