Luke 24:2, Why was the Stone Rolled Away?

And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

//While I’m not a proponent of trying to harmonize scripture, sometimes it’s interested to do so and see where a story leads. Here’s a case where it takes three Gospels to arrive at an explanation for why the stone was rolled away from the tomb.

If, as the Gospel of John asserts, Jesus was able to walk through doors or walls in his resurrection body (see John 20:19), why do you suppose the stone was rolled away? Surely Jesus needed no help escaping, right?

Perhaps the answer is hinted at a couple verses later in Luke:

And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. –Luke 24:4

Were these the men who rolled away the stone? Were they angels? If we read the same story in Matthew, it tells how there were not two men, but one angel. He arrived as the two Marys appeared at the tomb.

And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. –Matthew 28:2

So the angel(s) who opened the tomb arrived after Jesus had already made his exit. One could conclude that the stone was not rolled away so that Jesus could escape, but so that witnesses could enter and verify his resurrection.

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