(The Stone that loved to tell stories)
Once upon a time there was a large stone named Tommy .. Now Tommy was made of granite and he lived in a granite query pit. You might know that granite was one of the favorite types of stones that people built buildings with. This is because granite is a very strong stone yet one that can be cut easily with hammers and chisels into all kinds of shapes. Tommy knew he was granite and hoped some day to become part of an important building but not just any part. No Tommy wanted to be part of a great archway or entrance to a great building. He wanted to be part of the doorway or gat so he could see all the important things that went on for you see in Tommys day all the important business that went on in any great city went on at its gates for it is there that people would gather. Inside cities people would gather on the steps of huge temples and listen to great teachers and these steps were always right in front of the main doorway. Yes Tommy often dreamed of becoming part of the archs because there he would have plenty of things to witness and pass on to his fellow stone relatives. For today in the pit, Tommy had nothing to share for the only thing that ever happened there was seeing other stones get cut into smaller ones and that was boring.
.. comment about stones ..
Well one day a stone cutter came over to Tommy and began to measure him. THIS IS IT. Squealed Tommy now I get to become part of a building. I hope it’s a big important one and most of all I hope I get to be part of the gateway. Well Tommy did not have to wait long because as soon as the stone cutter finished his measurements, he picked up his chisel and hammer and began to cut Tommy loose from the surrounding rock. About 3 hours later, Tommy fell loose and the stone cutter called for some help to drag him to a place where the rocks got shaped. Here 3 stonecutters began to shape Tommy into the final stone he would be. Now Tommy knew that the most important stones had to be really smooth so this process would probably takes weeks and the longer the better for the better the stones surface the more likely he would be destined for a city’s gate.
As you can imagine Tommy heart sank with great disappointment as the 3 stone cutters stopped, stood back and said .. that’s good enough after just 1 day. As Tommy was propped up that day and rolled into a nearby ox cart he realized that he had been made into the worst kind of stome he could image for Tommy was now round, rough and flat. Yes Tommy had become part of a gate all right but not for a city or a building No Tommy had been cut into the shape of a tombstone. You see back then tombs were not like graves but were more like caves and in order to make a door for them, men made large round stones that they placed in front of the cave opening on edge so it could be rolled into to place and cover the caves opening.
As Tommy rode in the cart that day he figured his life was over for the only place more lonely than the query would be a graveyard. Tommy would never get to share anything important with his relatives around the world. But Tommy could not have been more wrong.
Later that day Tommy arrived at the tomb where he was destined. The tomb was like a hold in the side of a hill, hollowed out into a opening and an inner room. In front of the opening the ground had been made like a ramp running up away from the door. Tommy was lifted by 6 large men onto the little ramp just to side of the tombs opening. Then the men placed a smaller rock under Tommy so he would roll down the ramp into the doorway of the tomb until the tomb was ready to be sealed. Then they all left and Tommy began to cry.
A few months we by and Tommy saw very few people. From time to time he would hear someone walking in the graveyard but they never came into his view. It seems this tomb was for a wealthier person and was off in a special corner of the graveyard reserved for someone special. Tommy would have preferred being a tombstone for a more common person for at least then he would have at least got to watch more burials but as it was Tommy heard and saw nothing worthy of sharing with anyone.
One day however Tommy noticed that something really weird was happening. The sky had become dark in the middle of the day despite there not really being many clouds and then suddenly there was a large earthquake. The ground shook violently and Tommy heard the scream of one of his cousins who lived on the nearby Mount of Olives. Apparently the quake had split his cousin into two pieces . Owch thought Tommy .. that gotta hurt!. Later that day as evening fell, Tommy noticed some people coming with a torch to light the way and they were carrying the body of someone who apparently had just died. As they passed Tommy and carried the body into the tomb Tommy could see that the dead person was a man. He had been wrapped in what looked like gauze roller bandages that had been wrapped around him after being covered with a paste like substance that made the bandages somewhat hardened and shaped to his body almost like a thin cast. He had on a white hat and another bandage was tied around his head holding his jaw together so his mouth would not fall open. It all looked like a man in a cocoon.
The women in the group painted some good smelling stuff on hid body and when that was done the people stood looking at the body in silence. A few minutes passed and they all came out. One of the men turned to Tommy and gave a him a hard push. Tommy was so heavy that he didn’t move much but just enough for another man to kick the small stone that held Tommy in place away. As he did Tommy began to roll down the ramp and within 2 seconds crunched into place right in front of the tombs door. The men checked to see if Tommy had sealed the doorway well and as they quickly learned the stone cutters had done their job well for Tommy sealed the tomb opening perfectly. With that the small group of people left and Tommy was left in the dark. Well thought Tommy at least I can tell my friends about the burial… but even that seemed to sadden Tommy for since now the tomb was used and sealed, no one would ever use it again and this would be Tommys only story he ever got to share. But again nothing was further from the truth.
A few hours later while Tommy was telling his cracked cousin about the burial, two soliders showed up and placed a wax seal on the Tomb door. Then they took up positions guarding the tomb right in front of Tommy. Tommy wondered why for he did not see anyone put any valuables in the tomb that might be something a grave robber would want to steal. Hmm thought Tommy .. I wonder what is going on.. Yet he quickly remembered that this was rich mans tomb so he figured the guards were there just in case and figured they would leave soon. But they didn’t and despite being relieved by others soldiers still guarded Tommy 3 days later. During those few days Tommy got to hear the guards talk and apparently the man that had been buried in the tomb was not rich but was a poor man who claimed he was the Son of God the creator and wanted to be the the king of the people who lived in this area. Apparently the local peoples had not accepted him and had killed him instead for claiming he was equal to God. Well thought Tommy, hey to each his own..
Now on the morning of the 3rd day after the burial Tommy was awakedend by the deep rumble of another earthquake. As he cleared his head from sleep the earthquake grew violent when the earthquake subsided Tommy was still solidly in place in front of the tomb but in front of him was a man who glowed like lightning. The two guards were still there but were so scared they began shaking and soon passed out. The glowing man then turned to Tommy and effortlessly rolled him back up the ramp and over the little rock that used to hold him in place. Tommy was amazed for he knew he weighed 2 tons and they this glowing man moved him like he was made of wood. Oh man thought Tommy .. this is bad .. this is really bad … he is open the tomb and steal something and then leave and this dead guy is really going to smell .. but that is not what happened. For instead the glowing man jumped up on top of Tommy and just sat there waiting .. and next changed Tommys’s life forever.
For just then two women approached the tomb. When they saw the glowing man they too began to fear but the glowing man said ;
Read Matt 28:5-7
The women then went and looked into the tomb. Tommy looked too and what he saw left him changed for there were the grave clothes the man had worn all setting exactly where he had laid, all shaped like his body was still inside them yet the man was totally gone. Tommy knew that he had been in front of the that tomb ever since the man was placed there, he saw the man laid there himself and the man had never come out. Now as Tommy pondered what he saw and heard what he glowing man said he realized that this was no ordinary man. No this was man who came back to life after being dead. A man that left his grave by moving though not only his tightly wrapped grave clothes but through solid stone, past two guards and all without making a sound or being seen. Such a man thought Tommy would have to be special yes and maybe he was eve the son of God as he had claimed. WoW thought Tommy now this was a story the whole world needed to hear and I am the only stone in the world that has witnessed it. From that day on Tommy told that story over and over again. He told it to the stones in the nearby town, he told it to the stones on the distant mountains and he even told it to the stones in the bottom of the oceans. Yes Tommy did become a stone that witnessed the greatest even that ever happended at a gate for this tomb was the gateway to life not just for a crucified man but for everyone who believed he died and rose gain for them.
Today Tommy is still alive and he is still telling his story to other stones that have not yet heard .. are you ?