This reflection is taken from my book, Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org
“An angel of the Lord descended from heaven, came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.” (Matthew 28:2)
Reflection: The stone is what sealed human beings in the grave. By sitting on it, the angel says that death is conquered – not only Jesus’ death, but all death. The stone is not going to roll back; it cannot any longer hold humanity captive to the grave. Our destiny is now the heights of heaven.
Prayer: Alleluia! The Kingdom of death has been overturned! The power of abortion, euthanasia, and other evils has already been defeated! Lord, Your power is greater than death. May Easter give me confidence to be a witness to Life!
When the women who had gone to anoint Jesus’ body on the first Easter morning returned to the Apostles with the news that they had seen the risen Lord, the Apostles refused to believe it. The story seemed like nonsense to them. That night, when Jesus appeared to them, He chided them for their stubborn refusal to believe.
The Apostles clearly were not engaged in wishful thinking, or a desire to make up the Resurrection story. If they were, then they would readily have used the women’s story as a starting point.
In reality, they came to believe because they saw and touched the risen Lord. This gives us confidence. Death has been conquered, and therefore we can fight the culture of death, knowing that the victory of life is more than wishful thinking.
When Jesus rose from the dead, an angel descended from heaven, rolled the stone away, and sat on it. This was not so that Jesus could get out, but so that His followers could see that the tomb was empty.
The angel’s actions also mean that we will walk out of our graves. The stone sealed human beings in the grave, but after rolling it away, the angel sat on the stone, symbolizing that death is conquered and cannot any longer hold humanity captive to the grave. Our destiny is now the heights of heaven.
That’s what God thinks of human life, and that’s why we work to end abortion, euthanasia, and every other form of violence. Ultimately, abortion is a denial of Christ’s Resurrection, but our Easter faith impels us to extend the victory of life.