The Earth-Shattering Power of God

The Great Alaskan earthquake was one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded. It was a megathrust quake occurring the evening of March 27, 1964, Good Friday. The resulting ground fissures and landslides resulted in the catastrophic loss of life and property across South Alaska. Also known as the Good Friday Earthquake, its magnitude was a 9.2 on the Richter scale, the most powerful quake measured by seismograph in US history and the second most powerful on record all-time. It lasted for about 4 minutes.

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Great Alaskan Earthquake; damage to Fourth Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska (wikimedia commons)

As we celebrate Good Friday this year, I encourage you to look to the Messiah, the Resurrected One and Son of God, as your hope and stay. Amid the uncertainty of the present times, we realize our fragility. However, recall that we serve a fierce and powerful God, one who will once and finally win the day. This is the same God who shakes the earth and raises the dead to life. As we read in Matthew’s Gospel: 

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks splitand the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection andwent 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!” (27:51-54, NIV).

We can have the very confidence of the centurion for our lives today. With our hope rooted in the earth-shattering power of the living God, let us once more consider what was accomplished on the Cross. Laying hold of Jesus’ decisive victory over sickness and death, may we pray for such a work of God to move over our land and heal our nation and our lives even this day.

Published by Paul J. Palma

Paul J. Palma is a professor of Christian history and theology at Regent University. He is the author of the books "Embracing Our Roots: Rediscovering the Value of Faith, Family, and Tradition," "Italian American Pentecostalism and the Struggle for Religious Identity" (Routledge Studies in Religion series), and "Grassroots Pentecostalism in Brazil and the United States: Migrations, Missions, and Mobility" (Palgrave Macmillan). He is also a contributing writer for Paul enjoys spending quality time with his family on walks together, going to the beach, fishing, and doing work around the yard.

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