By Scott Johnson
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 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. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. (Mat 27:50-54 KJV-BRG)
Who were these that were raised? Were they raised to live on earth again or raised for glory? How long did they stay? Who did they see? Lot's of questions about one amazing event for sure! The death of the Son of God caused the entire earth to shake---this would be, as through Him the earth was created! The power of resurrection was first seen in death! Bodies came forth after Jesus' arose, and appeared to their loved ones--I'm sure! The bodies were like Jesus' new body, whole, healed and immortal for He was and is the resurrection and the life! Could the first ones have been the innocent children killed by Herod at Christ's birth? Jesus said suffer not the little children for of such is the kingdom of heaven and unless we become as little child we cannot enter the kingdom of God. Seems probable to me that these pure and innocent ones sacrificed for His birth would walk in the streets and even visit with their loved ones---just like Jesus did!
Maybe they stayed for 40 days and left with Jesus as he ascended in full view but the others hid from human sight? However it happened-- it was real and it was glorious: But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening Spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (1Co 15:35-54 KJV-BRG)
Scott and Jane Johnson minister with East Faulkner Church of Christ and BRG Bible. Bible questions can b sent to [email protected]