And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven…
The sentinels were not "as dead men" long; and when they woke, they found the tomb empty, and the tenant gone. Thoughts of the spirit-land and impressions of reverence were not in their world; the shock they had received woke no thought or question, but sheer physical terror only. As horses are frightened in the flashes of the tempest, and the wild things of the woods are suddenly tame in the blow of any tremendous flood or fire; so these strong human animals were cowed by the lightning from an angel's face. They would have been dauntless amidst the shock of battle and the din of arms, but they were dumb before a being who was not of flesh and blood. White as the dead, they at once burst into the presence of their masters and told all.
(Charles Stanford, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.