Matthew 27:50-51 - "And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split." The timing of the earthquake--at the very moment Christ died--indicates that it occurred by God's direct intervention. But why?
The earthquake was Calvary’s answer to Sinai.
Hundreds of years before, God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses. These laws reveal the sinfulness of our hearts. When we try to keep the Law of God, we discover it's impossible. We can't do it. Why? Because our nature is inclined to disobey, not to obey. If we were able to keep the laws of God, then there wouldn’t have to be a blood sacrifice to cover our sins.
The Bible describes what it was like just before God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mt.Sinai: “There was a thunder and lightning, a thick cloud on the mountain, and a loud trumpet sound, so that all the people in the camp shuddered. Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was completely enveloped in smoke because the Lord came down on it in fire. Its smoke went up like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain shook violently” (Ex. 19:16-18; HCSB).
Just as there was an earthquake at Sinai, there was an earthquake at Calvary.
Sinai foretold of Calvary. Sinai is a picture of God’s judgment of us because we have disobeyed His God’s law. Calvary is a picture of God’s mercy toward us. The earthquake of Calvary reminds us of what Christ has done.