William Andrew Dillard
few years ago, while visiting in San Diego, California, a strange
site appeared at the edge of the bay. There were these irregular
rocks of various size and shape balanced to create numerous single
poles. To say the site arrested attention is an understatement. How
can this be?
It was then that I noticed the artist responsible for the phenomenon. While watching him busily engrossed in his creations, he paused to invite me to create a similar pole. With one rock stacked in balance upon the first one, all else failed. No matter how many times it was tried, the balance simply was not there. My immediate response was that there was a trick to it; that these particular rocks I was working with could not be so balanced to create a standing pole. The artist smiled, picked up my rocks and began balancing them one upon another to create the pole. I still do not understand how he could determine the exact center of gravity that allowed the rock to be in such perfect balance.
The reality of that strange encounter illustrates another form of balance so much more important. It is the balance of life that God calls upon His people to live, a life of righteousness in a world dominated by sin, personally, locally, nationally, and internationally. It seems the very moment one feels he is really accomplishing that balance, up jumps the devil, and once more the stark realization that we are still sinners is blatantly announced.
Once there was a ruler whose life failed miserably to measure up to that calling. His name was Belshazzar, the last king of the world empire of Babylonia. The words of his judgment were “Mene, Mene, Tekel Upharsin” which translates, “Your kingdom is numbered and finished, You are weighed in the balances and found wanting.” Immediately he was slain and the kingdom passed into the hands of the Medes-Persians.
The balance of life God requires cannot be understood nor accomplished at all by carnal minded men. But the good news is that it is both understood and accomplished by faith in Christ Jesus, in His person, words, and works by our repentance from sin, placing faith in Him. Is it difficult? To the unrepentant, it is impossible! Is it attainable? Indeed it is, not by just one person here and there, but by everyone who lives life in Christ. In that balance the believer is not imputed with sin, as Paul wrote to the Romans in 4:7-8, “Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” That, my friends, is the perfect, spiritual balance of life bringing the zenith of enjoyment and peace both here and hereafter. How is your balance?
THE ROCKS CRY OUT
As Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, the disciples of Jesus were saying, “Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord” peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.”
This did not make the Pharisees happy at all. They even demanded that Jesus rebuke the disciples.
Jesus answer to them was recorded in Luke 19:40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
Let me run back in history a little bit, all the way back to Amos 1:1 – The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
The Jordan River Valley is not just the place where the Jordan River flows. The valley exists because it is an active geological fault. It is the joint between two great continental plates. The west of the river is the African plate, and the east of the river is the Arabian plate. This fault gave the river a place to flow.
Like all geological faults, the Jordan Valley is a hotspot for earthquakes, and the Bible describes many of them. Perhaps the most devastating happened during the lifetime of Amos, which left a mark on the archaeology of the entire region. Ancient historian Josephus reports that Solomon’s Temple itself was damaged in the quake. Josephus also reported a mountain splitting in two with a giant rock tumbling into a ravine. Imagine the sound that this movement of the land would make. Massive rocks grinding and tumbling and cracking.
We find Jesus on the cross and find His disciples silent. Jesus statement comes to mind that the “stones would immediately cry out.” In the silence of His disciples Jesus voice carried across the crowd, “my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me. And then again He called out again, “It is finished, and immediately, according to Matthew 27:51 the earth did quake. The stones themselves broke the silence of the disciples and opened graves, a testimony that Jesus was the Son of God. This testimony by the grinding upheaval of stones witnessed to the centurion and those with him. Matt. 27:54 records their reaction. “they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. The silence of disciples cannot mute the testimony of Jesus Christ the Son of God. The stones cry out.
Three days later as women headed to the tomb, there was another earthquake. This was not a somber quake that announced the death of the Savior. No, this earth quake that is recorded in Matthew 28:1,2 announces life. This is an announcement of victory over death, hell and the grave. This is the announcement that the price had been paid. This announced the pouring of the blood of Jesus Christ on the heavenly mercy seat. This is a quake of Joy, Redemption and justification. Let us not fail in crying out – HE LIVES.
Leave a comment
Filed under Commentary
Tagged as earthquake, grave, Jesus, rocks, stones