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What happened to the resurrected saints mentioned in Matthew 27

52-53?

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Matthew 27:51-53 Matthew 27:51-53 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared to many.
American King James Version×
tells us what happened right after Jesus Christ died: “Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.”

This resurrection of several believers was one of the phenomena accompanying the resurrection of Jesus Christ to underscore that monumental event. These saints came back to physical life. (In the Bible, the word saints means those who are sanctified or set apart as holy, meaning all of God's true followers.) We know from such scriptures as 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
American King James Version×
and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
American King James Version×
that God has resurrected no one to eternal life as an immortal spirit yet—except Christ.

For example, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
American King James Version×
says: “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

These references teach us that God will change the righteous dead along with living Christians to immortal beings when Jesus Christ returns.

After God brought the people mentioned in Matthew 27:52-53 Matthew 27:52-53 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared to many.
American King James Version×
back to life, they undoubtedly went back to their homes, where many acquaintances saw them. It's hard to imagine how utterly startling such an experience would be for their relatives and friends!

The Bible says nothing further about these people God resurrected at Christ's death, leaving us to conclude that they eventually died (again) and their families buried them (again). Along with all other saints who died, they await in their graves their resurrection to spirit life.

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    Comments

  • lbamusic

    “The Bible says nothing further about these people God resurrected at Christ’s death, leaving us to conclude that they eventually died (again) and their families buried them (again). Along with all other saints who died, they await in their graves their resurrection to spirit life.”

    I would not conclude that “…they eventually died (again) and their families buried them (again)….” Hebrews makes it clear that men only die once, and then the judgement…..

    Hebrews 9:27
    “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”

    My guess is those resurrected saints were either raptured when the Son of man came in his kingdom - Matthew 16:28 - “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”

    Or perhaps they are still on the earth in their resurrected bodies awaiting Christ’s future return.

  • Larry Walker

    I am writing in response to the point made regarding those who were resurrected at Christ’s death,that suggests that they did not die again because Hebrews 9:27 says “it is appointed to men to die once.”

    This passage states a general rule, not necessarily a limitation on how often a person can die. Lazarus is another example.

    On another point, Matthew 16:28 was not an actual event of Jesus coming into His Kingdom. The parable of the pounds (Luke 19) clearly teaches that the Kingdom was not going to be established at that time. The so-called “transfiguration” was merely a vision, as verse 9 clearly states, “Matthew 17:9 Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.”

    To suggest that they are still on earth “in their resurrected bodies” cannot be supported scripturally.

  • Yahuwnathan
    Perhaps they visited family for three days while Messiah was in the tomb, then after Messiah resurrected, He presented them to the Father in heaven as a first fruits offering.
  • SeeekingTruth
    @Yahuwnathan ‘RE: Matthew 27:52 Matthew 27:52And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
    American King James Version×
    We are told that the saints came out of their graves after His resurrection.
  • skypea
    it seems more likely that they were ressurected after Christ’s ressurecxtion. Walking around town for a time, and then leaving for heaven with Jesus in a glorified state.
  • Sabrina Peabody
    Skypea, why would God resurrect them to human form just to have them fly up in glorified form? Is that what happened to Lazarus? Wouldn’t he have stayed and lived out the rest of his life on earth before he died (again)? There are some really good resources on the resurrections and their purpose in God’s plan of salvation that I find helpful on this site. Enter “resurrection” into the search at the top and you will see a bunch of articles. The following one is very helpful: The Resurrection: God’s Promise of Life after Death - http://www.ucg.org/booklet/heaven-and-hell-what-does-bible-really-teach/…
  • KARS
    Does not the scriptures say that Jesus Christ is the first fruits of the resurrection? So how can these people be ancient without looking like the men before the flood. Were not these men hundreds of years old; like Methusalah?
  • Malachi 3_16-18
    Hi skypea, There is no mention in the Bible of these saints going to heaven after being resurrected physically. As Sabrina states, why would they be resurrected to physical life, only to necessitate immediately or shortly thereafter transforming them to immortality to be with Jesus and the Father? There were other physical resurrections to life, even prior to Christ’s resurrection - as far back as the Old Testament, in fact. These instances include a young boy who died and was brought back to life through Elisha (2 Kings 4:19-37 2 Kings 4:19-37 19 And he said to his father, My head, my head. And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother. 20 And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. 21 And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door on him, and went out. 22 And she called to her husband, and said, Send me, I pray you, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again. 23 And he said, Why will you go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well. 24 Then she saddled an ass, and said to her servant, Drive, and go forward; slack not your riding for me, except I bid you. 25 So she went and came to the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunammite: 26 Run now, I pray you, to meet her, and say to her, Is it well with you? is it well with your husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well: 27 And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the LORD has hid it from me, and has not told me. 28 Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me? 29 Then he said to Gehazi, Gird up your loins, and take my staff in your hand, and go your way: if you meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute you, answer him not again: and lay my staff on the face of the child. 30 And the mother of the child said, As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you. And he arose, and followed her. 31 And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff on the face of the child; but there was neither voice, nor hearing. Why he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, The child is not awaked. 32 And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid on his bed. 33 He went in therefore, and shut the door on them two, and prayed to the LORD. 34 And he went up, and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, and his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands: and stretched himself on the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm. 35 Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself on him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. 36 And he called Gehazi, and said, Call this Shunammite. So he called her. And when she was come in to him, he said, Take up your son. 37 Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out.
    American King James Version×
    ), and a dead man who was revived when his body touched the bones of Elisha in the prophet’s sepulcher (2 Kings 13:21 2 Kings 13:21And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulcher of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.
    American King James Version×
    ). If these individuals in the Old Testament had also gone to heaven to be with God upon their resurrections, then why would Jesus much later on state that no man has ascended to heaven (John 3:13 John 3:13And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
    American King James Version×
    )? Every faithful Christian will be resurrected to spirit life in his/her own order: Christ the first of the firstfruits, and after that, those saints in the graves who yet await their resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20 1 Corinthians 15:20But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.
    American King James Version×
    , 23). So we must conclude that they lived out the rest of their newly-resurrected physical lives, whether it was days, months or years, and then would have died at some point and been buried, to await the resurrection to spirit life upon the return of Jesus Christ (Daniel 12:1-3 Daniel 12:1-3 1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
    American King James Version×
    , 1 Corinthians 15:50-53 1 Corinthians 15:50-53 50 Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
    American King James Version×
    ).
  • Cottagiri Titus
    I had this same questions for years. But due to curiosity and opening my mind and heart to God, he showed me that, through Bible evidences, those saints went to heaven with Jesus and they are the twenty four elders sitting around the throne of God as John saw the vision in Revelation. And they are looking at the heavenly records written in the book of life and in other books about the dead and the living participating in final judgement.

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