What Does This Bible Verse Mean?

Who Came from the Graves? (Matthew 27:52-53) - YouTube

Erlene mentioned this yesterday, Matthew 27: 52-53.

And the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Whoa! Did that say what I think it said? Uh… yeah. It did.

Erlene sees that as a sign of Christ’s being “the first fruits” of the resurrection of the dead, in which all of us who believe in Him will share.

Who were these resurrected saints? How many people saw them? Where did they go after they entered the holy city? Plenty of food for thought here!

And yet these two verses don’t seem to get much attention. I’m sure I’ve never heard a sermon about them–just as I’m sure that this is the first time I’ve really noticed them. And now I doubt I’ll ever forget them.

Jesus died on the cross. There can be no doubt of that. But He did say to one of the thieves who was crucified with Him, “Today thou shalt be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). Which must mean that the moment He died in the flesh, His spirit went to paradise. His body would be resurrected on the third day.

People in those days did believe in ghosts, and were exceedingly troubled if they thought they saw one. Jesus had to reassure His disciples that He was not a ghost: He sat down and ate with them to prove it. So I don’t think Matthew was talking about ghosts. These saints must have been resurrected, as He was. And they must have soon ascended into Heaven. Very soon–or it would have been a sensation in the city, and Matthew would have told us so.

Think, think, think! It surely must be important or it wouldn’t be there.

8 comments on “What Does This Bible Verse Mean?

  1. I think it more likely they were resurrected in mortal bodies, as Lazarus and Jairus’ daughter was, and were reunited with their families and loved ones. We are just speculating though. It is interesting that we hear nothing more about them!

  2. I’ve wondered about that event for a long time. Periodically, i reconsider it. These saints must have either stayed with their families or ascended to heaven. It doesn’t seem likely they returned to their graves.

  3. I believe Greg Lammiman is correct, they were resurrected in mortal bodies. In John 11:43 it states: “And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus come forth.” And Lazarus did, after being dead four days. There were others that Jesus had brought back to life during his lifetime. There were a few in the Old Testament that were brought back to life. One of the most interesting is found in II Kings 13:21. They were burying a man in the same sepulchre as Elisha, and when his body touched the bones of Elisha he was revived, and got up. All these folks, and the saints resurrected to life right after Jesus resurrection were not resurrected to life eternal, but to continue their lives on earth and one day die. All those died again, to wait until the resurrection of life eternal that would take place sometime in the future.

  4. The thing I find most interesting is what a confirmation it is of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5 where He says “think not that I have come to abolish Torah and the prophets; I have come not to abolish, but to fulfill (complete). This First Fruits fulfillment of Leviticus 23 talking about the First Fruits waving of the sheaf is just one of the proofs He fulfills what the Torah teaches. It is an assurance that all will be fulfilled and the last three Feasts (teachings) are part of the fulfillment and the scheduled return of the Lord in the established order. Next on the list is Feast of Trumpets. These are the important things we should think about and watch for.

    1. There are a lot of events on the world scene that bring to mind Gog of Magog. It’s a good time to be alert.

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