There were no new questions submitted this week, so I’m re-posting from 2011:
A non-CLC reader asks, “In Matthew 27:52, it says “and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose.” Does the Bible give any more information on these saints who arose? Where did they go? Did they continue living? Where were there spiritual bodies before they arose? Also, after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, does the Bible say anything else about him?”
Wow….so many questions, and all so good! Let’s try to answer them, one at a time:
1. Yes, the full description is giving in the verse you quoted AND the next verse (Matthew 27:52-53).
2. So, according to v. 53, they went into the city of Jerusalem where they appeared to many people.
3. No further information is given anywhere else in the Bible, so we are left with 2 possible conclusions: (a) either they continued living until they died (again), or (my best guess, since Hebrews 9:27 says we’re all destined to die once), (b) they remained in Jerusalem until they ascended into heaven with Christ at the end of his earthly appearance.
4. Before they arose, their spirits would have been in Abraham’s bosom, awaiting the resurrection, just like all of the righteous dead from Old Testament times. (Some have speculated that these saints in particular may have been martyrs from Old Testament times, or possibly even saints who had seen Jesus, but died before him, such as Joseph, John the Baptist and others – but that is strictly conjecture since the Scripture doesn’t give us any clues as to their identity)
5. Yes, in John 12:9-11 we read of Lazarus being at a supper with Jesus, and he (Lazarus) actually became the ‘attraction’ that brought many people to that dinner, as people had heard of his resurrection of the dead, and because of his testimony, many were believing on Christ – so much so that the leading priests plotted to kill him, too!
In fact, we’ll look at that last passage about Lazarus in our Easter celebrations this weekend – it all starts tonight at 7pm, then Saturday at 5pm & Sunday at 8:30, 10 and 12. It’s not too late to invite someone to be your guest!
Hope that helps. Now, what would YOU like to Ask the Pastor?