- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and answers about Jesus Christ
- Published on Saturday, 21 November 2009 12:00
Christ commanded His spirit to depart. A divine hand sundered the temple’s veil from top to bottom. An earthquake opened graves. Sleeping saints arose. They exited their graves after Christ’s resurrection. They appeared to many in Jerusalem (Matthew 27:50-53). This spanned the three days of the Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). But is Christ’s resurrection before or after the "sleeping saints arose"? If they rose when He died, they remained in the stench of corruption until the third day, alive in an opened sepulcher whose contents were visible to passers-by. Why these saints waited in the tombs and why they were not discovered (thus causing excitement in Jerusalem) are problems that make this interpretation unlikely. The grammar equally supports another interpretation: after Christ’s resurrection, these saints came back to life, exited their tombs, and appeared in the city. The punctuation in the KJV agrees with this sequence.
The order is consistent with the way the Lord raised Lazarus (John 11:). The stone was rolled away and the grave was open; then Lazarus was raised. At the Lord’s death, the graves were opened, as though in anticipation that those bodies within would be brought back to life.