This is a rocky land
If the greatest natural resource of Lubbock Texas is sky, then the greatest natural resource of Jerusalem is rocks; they are everywhere. However, these stones are alive; they tell a story that continues generation after generation.
When the Egyptian slaves, turned wilderness beduins, crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, they set up 12 stones to remind them of what God had done (actually 12 in Gilgal and 12 in the river). They took advantage of the natural resources of the land.
God gave them a rocky place to call home, but the land came with perks. He told Joshua, “When you crossed the Jordan River and came to Jericho, it was not your swords or bows that brought you victory. I gave you land you had not worked on, and I gave you towns you did not build—the towns where you are now living. I gave you vineyards and olive groves for food, though you did not plant them…” Joshua responded immediately, “choose today whom you will serve. But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
The people vowed to serve and never forget. So as a reminder of their promise he took a huge stone and rolled it beneath the terebinth tree beside the Tabernacle of the Lord.
Joshua said to all the people, “This stone has heard everything the Lord said to us. It will be a witness to testify against you if you go back on your word to God.”
Rocks are witnesses.
We stood on rocks Jesus stood on. We walked on stones that witnessed his presence. Remember when the Jewish leaders wanted Jesus to chastise his outspoken followers, He replied, “If these voices are silenced, the rocks will cry out.”
We touched the Temple stones, pilled exactly where they fell in AD70. Jesus predicted the destruction of the temple and that no stone would be left on top of another.
In the afternoon, we gathered at the burial tomb. It was a garden just outside the old city walls, not far from Skull rock. The tomb is cut out of solid rock and fits the Bible description of Joseph of Arimathea‘s tomb, where Jesus was buried after his death. Remember the stone was rolled into place to keep Jesus in the tomb, but the stone refused to stop eternity.
The tomb is empty, the stone is gone.
Jesus lived for us and died for us and now lives in us. We find the story, tell the story, and then we “be” the story.
The story is in the rocks.
In the later years, Peter put it this way, “And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple.”
The rocks will cry out. The rocks are witnessed, so are we.
So we left that place with a small stone—A rock of remembrance. A reminder to never forget and be the story of a living Jesus. We are after all, Easter people.