Christianity hinges on the miracle of Christ’s bodily resurrection, but what do the events surrounding the resurrection tell us about God’s character?
The resurrection was God’s greatest miracle. Jesus died, yet appeared with a physical body not constrained by walls (Luke 24:28–33). There is no scientific explanation; it was supernatural. God is beyond nature; he can work beyond the natural laws he created.
But other Easter miracles have scientific explanations: the darkness preceding Jesus’s death . . . the earthquakes tearing the temple curtain and rolling the stone from Jesus’s tomb (Matthew 27:45–54; 28:1–2). Why call them miracles if they can be explained by science?
Recall God’s second-most significant miracle: parting the sea for the Israelites escaping Egypt. God didn’t do this supernaturally; he sent a wind (Exodus 14:21–22). God is also within nature; he can perform remarkable acts hypernaturally, using the natural laws he created in an extraordinary way. Such acts are no less miraculous than supernatural acts.
This is the case with the darkness and earthquakes; they were extraordinary natural events that occurred at the just-right time, place, and intensity to accomplish God’s purpose. These events couldn’t have been random; God must have exercised his power over nature. They were miracles that made even the Roman soldiers recognize the divine character of Jesus (Matthew 27:54).
The Easter story thus shows that God works beyond and within nature. It shows that Jesus is human and divine. God is awesome but personal. We have a personal Savior, crucified to bring us forgiveness of sin and eternal life. What good news!