Roll Away the Stone
ROLL AWAY THE STONE
3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?
4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?
5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
A large stone, roughly cut and resembling a wheel, stood covering the doorway to the tomb. Jesus and his half-brother James crouched low, found good handholds on the stone, and rolled the stone away from the tomb’s mouth.
A foul, moldy stench assaulted the nostrils of all present, but especially those closest to the tomb’s opening. The stench of death was so strong that Jesus’ eyes watered.
From inside the tomb a stark, white skull grinned grotesquely at him. Bits of rotten tissue still clung to the bones. As he looked on the earthly remains of Joseph, he had to blink his eyes several times to relate these bones and rotted flesh with his step-father and when he had remembered all the kindness with which Joseph had raised him, tears of memory replaced his tears of irritation from the stench.
The orbital sockets of Joseph’s skull stared at Jesus. Gone now were his father’s kindly eyes which had always been comforting to the boy as he was growing up. Joseph’s eyes had seemed to Jesus to be soulful with mixed joy and melancholy, lit by the wisdom that comes of discipline and obedience to the will of God.
The speck. Jesus’ memory flashed back to the speck in his eye. Joseph had first told him to stop rubbing his eye. Next, he stood behind the boy and gently tilted his head backwards. Then using his left thumb and forefinger, he held the boy’s eye open and he moistened the tip of his right forefinger and spoke as he performed the action. “Your finger needs some moisture on it so that the speck will adhere to your finger… and there it is!”
Joseph released the boy who turned around to inspect the speck proudly displayed on the tip of his father’s finger.
“Wow,” said Joseph with mock astonishment, “look at the size of that thing! That’s no speck, that’s a plank!!”
After he had rubbed his eye to relieve the itch of the splinter, they had laughed heartily at his father’s comparison of the speck to the plank.
James and Jesus laid their uncle Solomon into the tomb, next to his brother Joseph. Then all the mourners returned to the village.
For sometime after they sealed up the tomb, the stench of death clung to Jesus’ clothing.
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