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.
If you’re standing on the wrong part of the edge of this cliff, it’s goodnight Irene.
Watching this calls Psalm 73 to mind, verses 3, 18–
For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked… But! Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castest them down into destruction.
One moment they’re riding high; in the next, the cliff gives way. Jagged rocks below, etc. How often in history do we see that pattern? We’ve probably seen it in everyday life.
The wicked think they’re getting away with it. God’s Word says they aren’t.
Let us hold on to our faith. We need it.
It’s only mentioned once, in all the Bible: “Behold, these shall come from far… and these from the land of Sinim” (Isaiah 49:12).
“The land of Sinim”–where was that? We are not told. Probably Isaiah’s audience didn’t need to be told.
Many scholars have thought “Sinim” was China: the passage suggests some country far away, probably in the East. Others think it was in Arabia or southern Egypt: but I say there was no need to call any of those places “Sinim.”
Maybe the people of Judah in Isaiah’s time had only heard rumors of “Sinim,” and for them the name was synonymous with some terribly exotic place “somewhere out there.” When I was a boy, “Timbuktoo” meant some unspecified country far, far away (although you could find it on a map easily enough).
Or maybe a few travelers and traders had already journeyed from Judah to China, or vice-versa. We think that’s impossible, but of course it wasn’t. It wasn’t even that improbable.
The point is, the Bible’s message, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is meant for all the world, China included. The Americas are not specifically mentioned in the Bible, but the message is for everybody, whether they ever crossed the ocean or not.
Was “Sinim” China? Certainly it could have been. Just because they didn’t have cell phones and Internet access didn’t make the ancient world’s people stupid. I would hate to put up today’s people against them in any contest of intelligence.
This has been one of our most popular posts over the years, and well it should be. The rediscovery of the long-lost Kuwait River is powerful evidence that the Bible’s record is true.
The Lost River of Eden
College left my own faith kind of iffy. But the Kuwait River dried up and was buried in the sands of Arabia at least 2,000 years (and maybe more) before the first books of the Bible were written down… according to Reputable Bible Scholars Inc. The traces of the river were undetectable until modern aerial photographic analysis became available.
So what was an accurate description of it doing in the Book of Genesis?
They can’t wriggle out of that one.
Hard, maybe even impossible, to imagine a less fitting object of worship
“Using technology wisely,” says Humanist Manifesto II, we can do bloody anything (my paraphrase): we shall be as gods. We create Science, and Science turns us into gods.
So we see the whole universe as random, accidental, without anything resembling a purpose, no reason for existing–and we impose order on it! Oooh, we could just hug and kiss ourselves all over!
Isaiah’s warning hits like a smack between the shoulder-blades:
Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils; for wherein is he to be accounted of? –Isaiah 2:22
Looking at the recently departed 20th century, one might easily conclude that the thing we’re really good at is murdering each other. What will be the 21st century’s theme? Looks like creating counterfeit reality. Yeah, that’ll serve us well.
As we speak, the world’s self-anointed godlets are gathered in Davos to discuss new and more effective ways to herd the rest of us like cattle.
God has warned us: these cunning plans, these clever schemes hatched by fools and mountebanks, will come to nothing.
Don’t be caught on their side when the judgment comes.
Once again our friend and colleague SlimJim tackles a claim of Biblical contradiction made by the Skeptic Annotated Bible.
Are we allowed to create images of living things, or explicitly forbidden by God’s word?
Bible Contradiction? Is it OK to make images?
I have a hard time imagining the mental landscape or the spiritual poverty of persons who devote themselves to “disproving the Bible.”
The images of cherubims on the Ark and on the curtains of the tabernacle–of course they were okay. What is not okay in the Bible is to create some kind of image and then worship it as an idol. Making images is permitted. Worshipping images is not.
Today people still worship the work of their hands–Science and technology, political parties, their own image in the mirror, etc., etc. We’re much too sophisticated to carve a face into a piece of firewood and then bow down to it.
But heathen foolishness is still very much with us.
We ran this post by our dear friend and colleague, “SlimJim,” back in October. Today he plans to post it on the social media–and I say let’s help him. Because he is sharing an “amazing truth that God will be sent to us.”
Fascinating: Messianic Prophecy and Trinity in Isaiah 48:12-16
We can help by picking up his post and sharing it with others. Hey, it’s a Bible study lesson, and today is Sunday–the subject and the day are perfect together.
This is the Good News that we are commissioned to proclaim.
Speaking for myself, when I see the sprawling host of enemies arrayed against the Church, it would do me good to see what Elisha’s servant saw:
When Elisha Saw God’s Army
God’s word is mightier than the whole mob of ’em put together. He has angelic hosts at His command: remember what one angel did to the Assyrian army that sought to take Jerusalem (2 Kings 19, and elsewhere). “They that be with us are more…!”
There have been many times in world history when it looked like the heathen and the wicked were about to swallow God’s people whole. But God’s people are still here, and those enemies are not.
Ebed-Melech, the Ethiopian eunuch
Who would have been more of a nobody, in ancient Jerusalem, than Ebed-Melech–an Ethiopian eunuch? But only Ebed-Melech spoke up for the prophet Jeremiah.
God Does Not Forget
It occurs to me that “Ebed-Melech” probably wasn’t his name: It just means “slave/servant of the king.” Maybe his status was so low, he didn’t have a name.
But God remembered him. And saved him. God gave Jeremiah a message of salvation to be delivered specially to Ebed-Melech.
Because a servant of God is higher than a prince.
Has anything done more harm to our civilization than post-modernism? The wholesale repudiation of truth itself, brewed up in our colleges and looniversities–and their favorite target is the Bible, God’s word.
Truth Lies A-Bleeding
So for these hypocrites there was never a historical Israel or Judah, no King David, no Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem–the whole Bible nothing but a fiction. They do not explain why the monuments and archives of ancient Assyria and Babylon describe abundant dealings with the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Evidence means nothing to a “Biblical minimalist.”
The whole thing smells of fire and brimstone, doesn’t it?