This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
As millions of believers commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, they may be stunned to learn one of the most famous Bible verses dealing with the event is actually packing additional meanings that make the episode even more spectacular.
This is according to a Christian author who is shining more light on the content of Scripture.
The line in question is from the beginning of the 20th chapter of the Gospel of John where it states: "On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark. She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb" (John 20:1 CSB).
"On the physical level, most people already understand what's happening in this passage," says Joe Kovacs, author of the new best-seller, "Reaching God Speed: Unlocking the Secret Broadcast Revealing the Mystery of Everything."
"There's a believing woman in the person of Mary Magdalene arriving at the tomb of Jesus early Sunday morning and she sees the rock had been removed from the tomb.
"But when we open our spiritual eyes to see and ears to hear, this verse is broadcasting a mind-blowing double and triple meaning that sums up the phenomenal message of the Scripture in one single sentence. Once you understand it, you can't unsee it!"
Kovacs says the sentence to focus on is: "She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb."
"Beyond the physical event that everyone already understands, there is a Spirit-based parable message being aired here, and to grasp its meaning, we only need to connect the dots with the rest of the Bible. It's actually quite easy and fun to do."
"Let's start with the stone. We all know what a stone is. It's a rock. And who famously is called a rock as well as a stone in the Bible? Yes, it's Jesus Himself!"
Just a few of the verses calling Jesus a rock or stone include:
Kovacs says the second word to focus on is "tomb."
"We all know what a tomb is. It's a grave. It's where dead people are," the author says. "And interestingly, Jesus even likens PEOPLE to tombs at times, especially when He's talking to hypocrites."
As He said: "You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of the bones of the dead and every kind of impurity" (Matthew 23:27 CSB).
Kovacs says: "On the parable level using God's Spirit, tombs represent evil people. Even the apostle Paul calls our body of flesh the 'body of death'" (Romans 7:24 NKJV).
"Even though we think we're alive, unless and until we come to God, we're actually the walking dead, and Jesus called people that when He said, 'let the dead bury their dead'" (Matthew 8:22).
"So let's connect the dots now. When Mary saw the stone had been removed from the tomb, this is simply another way of saying that Jesus Himself had been removed from the tomb, as in resurrected from the dead! The stone or rock removed from the tomb ultimately refers to Jesus being taken away not only from His gravesite but also from His body of death!
"To drive this point home, the very next verse of the Bible has Mary uttering these words confirming the thought: 'They've taken the Lord out of the tomb' (John 20:2 CSB).
"So yes, there's a secondary meaning in addition to the physical one of merely seeing a solid rock removed from the grave. It is the Ultimate Rock, Jesus, being removed from the tomb. But if that's not enough to astonish you, there's a third meaning as well."
The author, known for his "Shocked by the Bible" series, says not only do stones and rocks represent God Himself, but they can also represent human people.
"Those who read the Bible know it's no secret that Jesus called Simon His apostle 'Peter,' a word meaning 'stone' or 'rock," says Kovacs. "And this stone called Peter can represent all believers who repent of their sins to follow God and feed the sheep, as he was famously told to do in John 21:17.
"Scripture also refers to all believing people as 'living stones' in 1 Peter 2:5.
"Even in the story of David and Goliath, the shepherd took 'smooth stones' (1 Samuel 17:40) as the weapon to defeat the evil giant, because we the believers are, on the metaphoric level, the fearless smooth stones prepared and polished by God to take on and defeat the evil giant, who is none other than Satan the devil."
"So let's again connect the dots from the Gospel of John, keeping in mind that God often is 'declaring the end from the beginning' (Isaiah 46:10 KJV). When the verse says 'the stone had been removed from the tomb,' this is also a prophecy for the future for all people who come to follow God. Because we ourselves are the stones that will be removed from our own personal tomb, our body of death, our grave of perishing flesh. Like Jesus, we will be removed from our grave when we are resurrected from the dead and granted everlasting life!"
"Yes, folks. One single verse from the Bible that we've been reading all these years is broadcasting so much more than has ever been trumpeted. It's so much more than just a physical stone being removed from the tomb. It is about the spiritual Rock Jesus being removed from the grave 2,000 years ago, as well as all of His other stones, the faithful believers, eventually being removed from our temporary tombs which we walk around every day.
"With ears to hear, the glorious conclusion for your life is no longer hidden. So when we hear someone say, 'He is risen' (Matthew 28:6), it's not just directly referring to Jesus rising from the dead, it's also alluding to the wondrous immortality for every single person who truly follows Him in order to get out of his or her own tomb."
Endorsed by Chuck Norris and other Christian champions, "Reaching God Speed" is nothing short of a breakthrough work, as it probes God's hidden messages embedded in popular movies, hit songs from (Adele and the Beatles to Frank Sinatra and Led Zeppelin), the stories we tell our children, everyday phrases we all say, historic news events, famous commercial campaigns, nature itself, and typical life activities such as such as inhaling every breath you take, sleeping, waking up and many more.
It features a myriad of stunning biblical revelations, as the book:
The book rocketed to the #1 position in several Amazon categories even before its official release.