I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.

Albert Einstein

When people go to school, attend training or any instructional class, they are doing so to learn something. Over the years, between being a life-long student and doing some teaching here and there, I’ve noticed that many people don’t like to ask questions. I’ve always been one to ask questions because I am curious. I’ll often joke that I started asking “Why?” when I was two years old and haven’t stopped.

I’ve been reading the Bible now for well over 15 years, and I still have lots of questions. Most of the time, I find answers to those questions when they arise, and other times, like today, I realize I’ll not get the answer I’m looking for on this side of Heaven. Such is the case with this verse from the Gospel of Matthew.

They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

Matthew 27:53 (NIV)

When Jesus died on the cross, several things happened.

At that moment, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split, and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. 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!”

Matthew 27:51-54 (NIV)
  1. The curtain of the temple was torn from top to bottom.
  2. The earth shook.
  3. Tombs broke open.
  4. The bodies of many holy people who were dead were raised to life.
  5. The raised holy people went into the city and appeared to many people.
  6. The centurion and those guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and everything else that had happened (torn curtain, tombs opening up, dead raised, etc.).
  7. Upon seeing all that happened, the centurion and the others were terrified and declared that Jesus was the Son of God.

Of the four Gospels, only Matthew contains all of these details. Mark and Luke include that the curtain was torn and the centurion’s declaration that Jesus was the Son of God (Luke say’s “Surely this was a righteous man.”) John doesn’t include any of these details, but his Gospel was written with a slightly different purpose in mind than the other Gospels.

My question about the raised dead here at Jesus’ death was simple. Is there any other mention of this in the Bible? If so, what does it say? Now, I always pray before I read my daily devotions. I always ask the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s word to me. However, I know there will be no revelation given because there aren’t any new revelations. The best I’m going to get is illumination on the text and an application or two.

These verses came to mind.

Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.

2 Timothy 2:17-18 (NIV)

Paul is telling Timothy how to handle false teachers. In these verses, he mentions Hymenaeus and Philetus who said that the resurrection has already taken place, hereby destroying the faith of some people. This is all that I’ve been able to find that might refer to the events that Matthew writes about in Matthew 27:51-54. False teaching usually comes from the distortion of real teaching, so maybe that’s where Hymenaeus and Philetus got the idea that the resurrection had already taken place (from other eyewitness accounts). Maybe or maybe not. I don’t know.

There was a lot of false teaching then, as there is now, and Paul wrote about avoiding it often in his letters. Sometimes we might be tempted to make up our own answers for the things we don’t understand. In science, these are called “theories” and are welcomed. However, as Christians, we need to accept that sometimes we’re not going to get the answers we want. However, God always gives us the answers we need, and for the rest, well, we just have to have faith.

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.