|And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:33|
Prior to the crucifixion, Satan spent his time attempting to keep the Lord Jesus Christ from going to the cross and from becoming our Passover Lamb. Once Christ said, “It is finished” and after Christ arose from the grave, Satan knew the battle was lost. Now he attempts to keep people from telling others. Satan doesn’t object to anyone being religious. What he spends his time doing now is finding ways to keep people from sharing the gospel.
Not only was Christ resurrected, other graves were opened and saints raised to give us a foretaste of God’s resurrection power.
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…Matthew 27:51-53
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t heard mention of verses 51-53 very often. We hear about the call of Lazarus from the dead, and we know that hundreds of people saw and spoke with the Lord Jesus, after He was resurrected, but these saints are rarely mentioned.
God doesn’t do things without a purpose and there is a wonderful purpose here from which we should benefit.
To whom they appeared, in what manner, and how they disappeared, we are not told; and we must not desire to be wise above what is written.
I tend to agree with Dr. Chamblin.
I agree with what the Geneva Study Bible states, concerning the above verses:
Christ, when he is dead, shows himself to be God Almighty, and even his enemies confess the same.
While Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary doesn’t attempt to explain God’s purpose in the raising of the saints, he does make an interesting observation as to the evidence that this occurred:
Extraordinary rents and fissures have been observed in the rocks near this spot.
Here are the notes or commentary of John Wesley on these three verses:
- Verse 51. Immediately upon his death, while the sun was still darkened, the veil of the temple, which separated the holy of Holies from the court of the priests, though made of the richest and strongest tapestry, was rent in two from the top to the bottom: so that while the priest was ministering at the golden altar (it being the time of the sacrifice) the sacred oracle, by an invisible power was laid open to full view: God thereby signifying the speedy removal of the veil of the Jewish ceremonies the casting down the partition wall, so that the Jews and Gentiles were now admitted to equal privileges, and the opening a way through the veil of his flesh for all believers into the most holy place. And the earth was shaken – There was a general earthquake through the whole globe, though chiefly near Jerusalem: God testifying thereby his wrath against the Jewish nation, for the horrid impiety they were committing.
- Verse 52. Some of the tombs were shattered and laid open by the earthquake, and while they continued unclosed (and they must have stood open all the Sabbath, seeing the law would not allow any attempt to close them) many bodies of holy men were raised, (perhaps Simeon, Zacharias, John the Baptist, and others who had believed in Christ, and were known to many in Jerusalem, ) And coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, went into the holy city (Jerusalem) and appeared to many – Who had probably known them before: God hereby signifying, that Christ had conquered death, and would raise all his saints in due season.
- Verse 54. The centurion – The officer who commanded the guard; and they that were with him feared, saying, Truly this was the Son of God – Referring to the words of the chief priests and scribes, chap. xxvii, xliii, He said, I am the Son of God.
Satan spends all of his time trying to destroy the message of the resurrection. Sometimes Satan appears as a sheep, but he is still a wolf wearing sheep’s clothing. When there is a person or a group denying the bodily resurrection of Christ, know that Satan is behind the movement. He couldn’t prevent the resurrection. He can’t stop the church from proclaiming the true message. God’s people know that Jesus Christ arose victorious over sin and the grave. Yet Satan will keep trying to destroy the message until the Lord binds him and casts him into the lake of fire. Satan’s time will end. Resurrection power is real and attainable for saints today.
Celebrate the resurrection this Sunday!
Yet indeed, I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:8-11
- The Significance of the Resurrection – Jesus Arose Where He Died (darrellcreswell.wordpress.com)
- Celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ (bummyla.wordpress.com)
- The Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ (inspirationalchristiansfortoday.com)
- Resurrection! (brakeman1.com)
- Tree of Jesus Life, the Suffering Christ, Passion Week, Friday (e) (jharbin77.wordpress.com)
- Good Friday Is Good Indeed (zaraalexis.wordpress.com)