Matthew 27:50-54 (NIV)
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[a] went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!
There were four miracles happened at the death of the Lord Jesus Christ
- darkness (from the 6th hour to the 9th hour darkness came over to all the land – v45)
- tearing of the temple’s curtain from top to bottom (v51)
- earthquake (earh shook, th rocks split – v53)
- rising of people from the tomb (v52-53)
The death of the Lord Jesus was very noticeable to everyone, believers or nonbelivers alike. If you were there, you would like to know who is this man? Is His teaching true?
Many bible scholars tried to explain v52-53 but Matthew didn’t gave us enough information who were raised, and whether they lived a normal life after their resurrection. Bible scholars studying writings of that time didn’t find information on these ressurections either – whether providing more data or writing to falsify what was written by Matthew.
As a follower of Jesus, I personally believed that these events were true or else Jesus’ enemy (those who crucified him) would do everything to destroy Jesus’ credibility. Note that the on Matthew 27:62-64 the chief priest and the Pharisees went to Pilate to ask him to station some guards on Jesus’ tomb because Jesus claimed that He will rise again after three days. Jesus’ enemy were afraid that the disciples would steal Jesus’ body and claim His ressurection. If this claim of Matthew is not true, then there should be writings against it. But nothing can be found because everyone knew the truth.
Some bible scholars thought that perhaps Matthew made a mistake in his chronological order because the ressurection of Jesus should happen first before the ressurection of others. ESV, KJV and other bible translations were like this so that ressurection happens only after Jesus’ ressurection.
But would it really make a difference? Lazarus was bodily ressurected by the Lord Jesus Christ even before Jesus’ death and ressurection. God’s power is limitless and God can do miracles if He desired it. In heaven, God will tell us everything we wanted to know but for now I would focus my attention on things that are more beneficial – like discipleship. We know that some people were ressurected – but since we were never told what happened to them I will stop guessing and live with that mystery. God is still good anyway- all the time!
Matthew 27:52-53 (KJV)
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
Matthew 27:52-53 (ESV)
52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.