Summary: God caused 5 miracles during the crucifixion: Darkness, Veil Torn, Earthquake, Graves Open, & Resurrections. 101 Romans believed and confessed. They'll make a believer out of you too!
FIVE MIRACLES FROM THE CROSS
A. HUMOR: NOTHING LIKE EXPERIENCE
1. There was once a very small man who applied for a job as a lumberjack out in the Pacific Northwest. He approached the boss (who was a big strapping brute) while he was chatting with a half dozen others of the same sort.
2. The little man said, “I want a job cutting wood.” They all began to laugh. “You’re too small for this work.” the boss replied. But one of the men said, “At least give him a chance to show you what he can do” (it looked like an opportunity to have some fun).
3. The boss, catching on quickly said, “Okay, come over here.” He selected one of the largest, hardest trees he could find. He said, “Let’s see what you can do with this.” Big bruisers gathered all around.
4. They began to whisper, “I couldn’t chop that one down in a day!” Another: “Yeah, his axe’ll bounce off and hit him in the head.” He lifted his axe and, swish-whoofff! Down it came with one clean stroke. The big fellows looked from the tree to the little man in disbelief.
5. “What’s wrong with that tree? Do that again.” They took him over to harder one and a bigger one. Swish-whoofff! Down it came in the same way. “Well,” said the boss, “you’re hired, but first tell me one thing.
6. Where did you ever learn to cut wood like that?” The little fellow replied, “In the Sahara Forest.” “The Sahara Forest? You mean the Sahara Desert, don’t you? The little fellow answered: “That’s what they call it now.”
"Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour…, And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." Matthew 27:45-53 (KJV)
1. There were Five Miracles that occurred while Jesus was being crucified on the cross.
a. Darkness at midday vs. 45
b. Rending of the veil of the Temple vs. 51
c. Quaking of the earth vs. 51
d. Opening of the graves vs. 52
e. Coming forth of the bodies of the saints after the resurrection of Christ vs. 53
2. All of these miracles are part of God’s plan and were designed to build upon and enhance the saving work of Jesus Christ.
3. These miracles were confirmations in the physical realm of the vast power expended in the spiritual realm; of the overthrow of the powers of darkness and the accession of the Son of God over all His rivals.
I. DARKNESS AT MIDDAY vs. 45
A. DESCRIPTION & MEANING
1. The KJV of Mt. 27:45 reads, "Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land(NIV “Earth”) unto the ninth hour."
2. Luke adds "for the sun stopped shining." Luke 23:45 (NIV). (It was NOT an eclipse because an eclipse during Passover, when the crucifixion took place, would have been impossible; a solar eclipse cannot occur during a full moon.)
3. When the Bible says “the sun stopped shining,” it uses the language of appearance. It doesn’t mean the sun went completely dark, but shown very dimly.
4. We can assume some light was present or no one could have seen all that happened during the crucifixion – soldiers gambling, priests mocking, wine-vinegar sponge lifted to Jesus, Jesus giving his mother’s care to John, soldier’s watched Christ die and thrust the spear in His side, etc.
5. Everyone would have been groping around like blind men had it been totally dark. So is was shining only very faintly.
6. Why would God give this sign? Because the Light of the World was being extinguished! The Light shines in the darkness and they didn’t comprehend it.
7. Also, Heaven was veiling the sad scene with darkness. The Father Himself had to withdraw from the Son. The darkness could represent God’s sadness at the terrible murder of His Son.
B. HISTORICAL CONFIRMATION OF THIS DARKNESS?
1. If this darkness covered the Earth, even regionally (since it was already night in half the world), then not just those on Calvary’s Hill would have seen it, but in Turkey, Greece, Egypt,
India, etc. They too would have been cast into deep darkness.
2. ACCOUNT OF THALLUS
Thallus wrote a history of the eastern Mediterranean world since the Trojan War. Thallus wrote his regional history in about AD 52.6 Although his original writings have been lost, he is specifically quoted by Julius Africanus, a renowned third century historian. Africanus states, ‘Thallus, in the third book of his histories, explains away the darkness as an eclipse of the sun—unreasonably as it seems to me.’ Apparently, Thallus attempted to ascribe a naturalistic explanation to the darkness during the crucifixion.