November 6

Text: Matthew 27:52, 53

... and the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. (NASB)

The only record of this event is stated here in Matthew.  We know nothing else of this temporary resurrection.  The people who were resurrected on this occasion fit specific criteria.  (1) It was a temporary event (meaning these resurrected people returned to their tombs).  (2) It was a restricted event, not a world nor an all Palestine event (meaning it occurred only in and around Jerusalem).  (3) Those saints (or holy ones) resurrected were raised to be witnesses to people in the holy city (the city of Jerusalem).

It did not say that all the saints were raised, but that many saints were raised.  It did not give any message that accompanied their resurrection appearances.  I would assume (based on events in the book of Acts) that their message had to do with (1) God keeping His promise to Abraham and (2) Jesus’ identity as God’s promised Christ.

Acts revealed a significant spiritual migration of Jews to the resurrected Jesus as the Messiah or Christ.  It spoke of 3000 being converted on Pentecost (Acts 2:41) with a continual growth day by day (Acts 2:47).  In spite of arrests, opposition, insincere converts, and death, the early movement continued significant growth among the Jews.  By Acts 4:4 the number of male converts was 5000.  Acts 5:14 spoke of multitudes of men and women converts.  Acts 6:7 said, in spite of difficulties, the word of God kept spreading, followers increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a “great many” priests were converted.  When persecution arose, Christians scattered but continued preaching (Acts 8:4).

How do we account for this rapid spiritual growth?  First, Jesus was who he claimed to be.  Second, could it be that the affirming events from the crucifixion forward confirmed Jesus was from God?

Suggestion for reflection: Is Jesus a convenience or necessity in your life? (Read Philippians 3:7-14.)

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