Summary: EASTER / LENTEN SERIES Part of the Strange Days in Jerusalem Series. Dramatic and unusual events occur in the period surrounding the crucifixion. This is part 3 of that series. Travel with me to 29 A.D. where we will see the earth quake, the rocks split

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Strange Days in Jerusalem

The Six Miracles of Calvary

Using the theme based on the book, The Six Miracles of Calvary, by William R. Nicholson

Series Begins 2/28/2010


17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? 18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?

Sermon 3: The Earthquake, Rocks Split, Graves Opened

NOTE: The Earthquake is miracle 3, the Opening of the Graves is Miracle 4.

April 4, 2010

Matthew 27:50-54 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 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; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. 54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

I. The Shaking of the Earth


An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth’s crust that creates seismic waves (waves of force that travel through the earth). This event is normally caused by the shifting of the earth’s tectonic plates. There are three types of this shifting: 1) a strike-slip, where the plates move into one another and then shift to one side, 2) the normal slip, where one plate slides down away from the other, and 3) the thrust, where one plate climbs up the other. The initial place of the earth’s rupture during such slides is called the hypocenter. The point at the surface of the earth above the hypocenter is called the epicenter.

While most earthquakes occur as the result of the moving of the earth’s plates, some have been directly attributed to human activity. HUMOR: If our founding fathers could see what Obama is doing to our once great nation, they would collectively roll in their graves and this would suffice to cause an earthquake! The 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China was the result of the construction of the Zipingpu Dam nearby. 69, 277 people died as a result. The 1989 Newcastle, Australia earthquake is believed to be the result of large amounts of rock being removed during coal mining. I would add one other thing. Let us never forget that, while God is not directly acting in each earthquake, God is able to shake the earth!

For what it is worth, Jerusalem is located at the where several fault lines converge. The eastern Mediterranean area is prone to earthquakes. These events, which have caused devastation and loss of life throughout history, are caused by episodic movement of the earth’s crust along a complex network of faults as the African and Arabian tectonic plates progressively collide with the Eurasian plate. Dictionary of Biblical Imagery.

A. The Scriptural References to Earthquakes

1. Some are reported as factual reference to an historical event. (Amos 1:1)

Amos 1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

2. Many are reported in contexts that imply a supernatural cause. (Acts 16:26)

Acts 16:26 [Story of Paul and Silas in Philippi] And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.

3. Some are reported with commentary. (Ps. 68:8)

Psalm 68:8 The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.

B. The Symbolism

1. God’s Anger (Nahum 1:5-6)

Nahum 1:5-6 The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. 6 Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.

2. God’s Power and Majesty (Sinai) (Ps. 99:1)

Psalm 99:1 The LORD reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.

3. God Marching Out to Battle (Judges 5:4)

Judges 5:4 LORD, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water.

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