The Tombs Were Opened

One part of the Easter story that is often overlooked in the excitement of Christ's resurrection is that after Jesus' resurrection (according to Matthew 27:51-52) many tombs broke open and a number of holy people who had died came forth and went into Jerusalem and appeared too many people. Imagine if you had met one of these resurrected saints, undoubtedly it would have changed your life and taken any doubt away about the resurrection. Why did God decide to resurrect these people at this point in time rather than wait to the end of the age? The answer to that question lies in Jesus' words to Martha in John chapter 11. After Jesus had been informed that his friend Lazarus (Mary and Martha's brother) was sick instead of coming to his bedside straight away, Jesus stayed a further two days in Judea and Lazarus dies. When Martha hears Jesus is finally coming she goes out to meet him, and says, "if you had been here he wouldn't have died. "Jesus tells Martha, "Your brother will rise again". Martha replies, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day", not realizing that Jesus will soon call forth Lazarus from the tomb. Jesus says to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die, and whoever by believing in me will never die." Jesus is making it clear here that resurrection and new life is intrinsically linked to him, not just to the end of the age. So Lazarus' death, and even more the resurrection of the saints mentioned in Matthew 27:51-52 is a foretaste of what is to come. In both these stories Jesus displays that he is the resurrection and the life". Because of what Jesus has done and accomplished on the cross we can have every confidence that those that die in Christ, will be raised to new life just as he rose those saints in Matthew 27: 51-52 two thousand years ago.


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