When the bodies of many saints were raised from death as soon as Jesus died on the cross, what were they doing until the day that Jesus was resurrected when they went into the holy city, and what eventually happened to them?


Email Received:

Matt. 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
Matt. 27:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

What were the saints doing who were resurrected between the periods when the graves were opened and when they came out of the graves, since they only came out three days later after Jesus' resurrection? And what eventually happened to them?


Ted's Response:

Matthew 27:52,53In Matthew 27:52,53, your KJV Bible says that the risen saints were in graves, but probably a better translation is tombs. (Jesus also was placed in a tomb, not in a grave below ground level.) Click on the photo to the right that I took of the page with Matthew 27:47-66 in my Greek-to-English translation Bible, showing "tombs" in 27:52,53.

Whether the saints were buried in the ground or entombed, their graves or tombs were opened. Being saved saints in communication with God, presumably He had commanded them to remain in that location until Jesus was raised from death. Then they could go into the holy city (Jerusalem) and appear to many.

Some of the tombs would have contained more than one person. So the risen saints within each of those tombs would have been able to walk around and talk with each other. Perhaps even some of them, looking outside of their tombs, might have seen Jesus' body being placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27:57-60).

It also is possible that, after their graves or tombs were opened, the risen saints were allowed to walk around that immediate area and talk with other risen saints. Of course, this is speculative; but if they did, they could not have gone elsewhere until after Jesus was raised, left His tomb and departed to Galilee (Matthew 28:7,10). After Jesus' resurrection, all of the risen saints came out together and went into Jerusalem, appearing to many.

So whether they remained lying or sitting within their graves or walking around their tombs, or they were able to get up and walk around locally, I assume that God would have taken care of their needs for the next few days, such as providing them water and food. Possibly, He even could have caused their bodies, temporarily, not to require these necessities. God can do anything.

I assume that the raised saints continued living in their natural mortal bodies until they died again. They would not have received their supernatural spiritual bodies when they were raised the first time, since Jesus was the first one to receive His. He was the firstfruits from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20) of those who never would die again. Eventually, when they are resurrected again moments before the Rapture event, they will receive their glorified, eternal bodies as well.


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