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Summary: The storm before the calm. Normally we hear this said the other way around. Though there are times when there is the calm before the storm, in the case of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, the storm came before the calm.

THE STORM BEFORE THE CALM

The storm before the calm. Normally we hear this said the other way around. Though there are times when there is the calm before the storm, in the case of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, the storm came before the calm.

1) The crucifixion-the storm.

The storm started for Jesus and the disciples when Jesus was arrested. When we think of a storm we normally think of a literal storm-heavy rains, strong winds, thunder and lightning, or a blizzard if it's wintertime.

But another usage of storm is when someone storms out of a room because they're angry. They usually rant and rave and then stomp away. Storm can also mean flare-up, outburst, explosion, eruption, that sort of thing. We saw that type of emotion exhibited by Peter when the guards were approaching Jesus to arrest him and he drew his dagger and cut off Malchus' ear. But Jesus quieted the storm when he told Peter to stop it and then he healed Malchus.

From then on, the uneasy storm was brewing. The disciples all fled (you could say they all stormed out of there) and left Jesus to deal with his storm on his own. Then you have the storminess of the outbursts by the religious leaders when they questioned Jesus. When Jesus revealed he was the Son of God and in the future they would see him sitting at the right hand of God they tore their robes and shouted, 'blasphemy!' Then they spit on him and slapped his face.

Meanwhile, Peter was facing his own stormy situation. He and John had followed Jesus from a distance. John knew someone who had let him come inside but Peter was left to wait outside in the courtyard. He could see what was happening with Jesus. While he was there, some people accused him of being one of Jesus' followers but he kept denying it. After the third time, the rooster crowed. Jesus turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered what Jesus had told him. Peter stormed away and wept bitterly.

Jesus continued to face his storm when he was beaten and flogged so severely he was beyond recognition. Then, he was crucified. After a few hours the weather started to change.

Matt. 27:45-54, "From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

Before Jesus died there was three hours of blackness. The darkness that blanketed the sky represented evil. In Luke 22:53, when Jesus was arrested he said to the chief priests, temple officials and elders who had come for him, "This is your hour, when darkness reigns."

The black sky conveyed the darkness that was in men's hearts; the reason that Jesus hung on the cross-dying for the sins of men. And then after Jesus died there was an earthquake-the storm. Maybe there wasn't a typical rain storm, hailstorm or hurricane winds but I don't consider three hours of darkness in the middle of the day and an earthquake to be anything close to calm.

The darkness alone would've been very daunting and the people would've been confused at best-terrified at worst. And then to have an earthquake of the magnitude to make the rocks split; this was no tremor. I can picture people fleeing the scene; running every which way, wondering what would happen next. This obviously got people's attention. So much so that it changed the heart of a Roman Centurion. He saw this weather phenomenon in a divine light that pierced his darkness; for now he saw Jesus as the Son of God.

That's what a storm in our lives is supposed to do-get our attention and cause us to have either a change of heart or a more serious heart. In Psalm 83, Asaph is describing the M.O. of Israel's enemies. So he uses the reality of storms as a metaphor for asking God to get their attention.

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