There was a great earthquake.”
καὶ ἰδοὺ σεισμὸς ἐγένετο μέγας·
Matthew is the only one who has any activity at the tomb. In the 3 other gospel stories, the woman or women found that the tomb was empty. Thus, Matthew uniquely said that suddenly there was a great seismic earthquake (καὶ ἰδοὺ σεισμὸς ἐγένετο μέγας). Matthew also uniquely had an earthquake at the death of Jesus, chapter 27:54. Now he had another earthquake at the resurrection of Jesus. These earthquakes symbolized that something important was happening.
And those with him
Who were guarding Jesus,
Saw the earthquake.
What took place.
They were very terrified.
This was the Son of God!’”
Ὁ δὲ ἑκατόνταρχος καὶ οἱ μετ’ αὐτοῦ τηροῦντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἰδόντες τὸν σεισμὸν καὶ τὰ γινόμενα ἐφοβήθησαν σφόδρα, λέγοντες Ἀληθῶς Θεοῦ Υἱὸς ἦν οὗτος.
This is similar to Mark, chapter 15:39, except that there is no mention of an earthquake there, just the centurion statement alone. In Luke, chapter 23:47, the centurion simply said that this man was innocent, without any earthquake. There is nothing about a centurion or earthquake in John, chapter 19. Matthew said that the Roman centurion and the other Roman soldiers guarding Jesus (Ὁ δὲ ἑκατόνταρχος καὶ οἱ μετ’ αὐτοῦ τηροῦντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν), saw the seismic earthquake (ἰδόντες τὸν σεισμὸν). They saw what had taken place (καὶ τὰ γινόμενα). They were all very terrified and afraid (ἐφοβήθησαν σφόδρα). They said that truly this man was the Son of God (λέγοντες Ἀληθῶς Θεοῦ Υἱὸς ἦν οὗτος). It is interesting to note that the leader of the Roman soldiers, this centurion, who was in charge of 100 men, was afraid. He and his fellow Roman soldiers were the ones calling Jesus the Son of God. Once again, Matthew emphasized the goodness of the Roman leaders versus the evilness of the Jewish leaders.