Eschatology

 

 

30. The Gospel according to Matthew says that when Jesus died on the cross, many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised (Matthew 27:51-53). Could you tell me what kind of resurrection they experienced? Can we affirm that those saints came out of their graves to the resurrection to life (John 5:29)?

 

 

 

Those saints who were raised when Jesus breathed His last on the cross, experienced a bodily resurrection like that which was experienced by Lazarus after four days. Therefore, their bodily resurrection has nothing to do with the resurrection to life that will be experienced by the saints at the coming of Christ, through which the bodies of the saints will be transformed into immortal and incorruptible bodies.

Some teach that those saints experienced a bodily resurrection like that which was experienced by Jesus Christ, but this can’t be absolutely true. I am going to show you from the Scriptures why.

Matthew says: “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many” (Matthew 27:50-53 – NKJV).

Note carefully, first of all, that the graves were opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised WHEN JESUS DIED ON THE CROSS, because their resurrection (as well as the tearing of the veil of the temple, the earthquake and the splitting of the rocks) is closely related with His death. Therefore, those saints were raised before Jesus was raised from the dead. Now, if they had been raised with an immortal body, that would mean unequivocally that Jesus was not the first man who was raised from the dead with an immortal and incorruptible body and thus it would mean that He is not “the firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1:18 – NKJV) or “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20 – NKJV). For how could we affirm that He is the firstborn from the dead if those saints came out of the graves to the resurrection of life before Jesus rose again?

I have proved, therefore, that it is impossible that those saints experienced a bodily resurrection like that of Jesus and like that which will be experienced by all the dead in Christ when Jesus comes. Therefore, the fact that those saints rose again before Jesus was raised from the dead, excludes that they rose again to the resurrection of life. Take heed to yourself and do not be deceived by those who say that those saints were raised from the dead after Jesus was raised from the dead, because it was not their resurrection that took place after Jesus was raised from the dead, but their coming out of the graves and their going into the holy city and their appearing to many, for Matthew says: “….. and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many” (Matthew 27:53 - NKJV).

 

 

 

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