Resurrection of the Saints

Q. What does Mt 27:52-53 mean “and 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 and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” How come I never heard any sermon on this?

A. A. You’ve never heard any sermon on this probably because Matthew is the only one evangelist who recorded it, and there is no other reference in the Bible to this event. The Bible says:
• When Jesus died the earth shook and split the rocks, including the tombs;
• After His resurrection many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;
• They came out of the tombs and entered Jerusalem and appeared to many.

I believe this is the sequence because of 1 Co 15:20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. I don’t think they were raised immediately after Jesus’ death, stayed in the tombs three days, and did not come out until after His resurrection. Who these saints were is not specified, but I believe they were similar to other people Jesus raised:
• Widow of Nain’s son (Lk 7:13-15)
• Jairus’ daughter (Lk 8:52-56)
• Lazarus (Jn 11:43-44)
who eventually died again. Others believe they may have been raised with glorified bodies but the text simply did not say, hence my premise to not go beyond what’s stated.

Their resurrection symbolized at least two things.:
• Christ had conquered death 1 Co 15:26-27 For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
• The resurrection of all believers, who shall be recognizable and known by others (Mt 27:53). Jn 6:40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

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