Matthew 27:52 – “Also the graves were opened, and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.”
There are several examples in scripture of the dead being raised. 1 Kings 17:22 tells us that “Yahweh answered Elijah’s prayer; and the boy’s breath returned to him and he lived.” Similarly, in Luke 7:12-14 Yeshua raises the only son of a widow who had died, saying: “Young man, I say to you, arise.” John 11:38-44 tells us of Yeshua raising of Lazarus, who had been dead for four days, simply saying: “Lazarus, come out!” We are not told, however, how long these resurrected people remained alive. Scripture is silent on this topic.
That Ain’t No Zombie
Matthew 27:52-53 – “Also the graves were opened, and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life; and after Yeshua rose, they came out of the graves and went into the holy city, where many people saw them.”
Most interesting are the holy ones who were raised to life at the instant of Yeshua’s death. After Yeshua is resurrected, these people came out of the graves, went into the holy city, and were seen by many people (Matthew 27:53). No doubt about it, while in Yerushalayim, they witnessed to the many who saw them. These holy ones were living breathing human beings, not zombies! Again, scripture does not tell us how long they remained alive, nor does it tell us whether they died again or were taken up to heaven.
I believe that these people, the holy ones, were raptured, or caught up into the clouds, at the same time Yeshua was caught up, becoming a firstfruits offering of the resurrected to Yahweh his father, for scripture tells us that “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives” (Ephesians 4:8).
A Pregnant Pause
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 – “Those who died united with Yeshua will be the first to rise; then we who are left still alive will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet Yeshua in the air.”
Isaiah 61:1-2 – “The Spirit of Yahweh Elohim is upon me, because Yahweh has anointed me to announce good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted; to proclaim freedom to the captives, to let out into light those bound in the dark; to proclaim the year of the favor of Yahweh and the day of vengeance of our God.”
Just as there has been a 2000 year pause between the first and second parts of Isaiah 61:1-2, and at least a forty day pause between the holy ones being resurrected and their probable rapture along with Yeshua, perhaps there will be another “pregnant pause” between the resurrection of those in Yeshua and the rapture of both those people and the people who are still alive at that time! (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
I see the sequence of events as follows:
- Yeshua descends in a cloud with a shout, the voice of an angel, and the sound of a shofar (1 Thessalonians 4)
- The dead in Yeshua are raised and instantly given their immortal bodies (1 Corinthians 15)
- These people spend time witnessing to friends, family, and neighbors who are not yet saved, just as the resurrected holy ones did after Yeshua’s resurrection
- The living, after this period of witnessing, are instantly given their immortal bodies (1 Corinthians 15)
- The living people are gathered together and rise to meet both the resurrected people and Yeshua in the clouds, while those left behind watch intently (1 Thessalonians 4)
- The two witnesses eventually appear to give witness to Yeshua and the Rapture (Revelation 11)
The “gone in an instant” image makes for great reading, for simply good fiction. This image, I believe, is not supported by scripture. The Rapture patterns clearly show that it will be a visible event, that it will take a moment or two in time from beginning to end, and that it will be clearly able to be watched as it transpires. It is only the change from mortal to immortal that scripture describes as instantaneous in nature, immediately followed by The Rapture. Perhaps there is yet one more pregnant pause to be witnessed!
Prophecy continues to unfold as foretold by the Hebrew Prophets. The day is coming when Yahweh will show his strength on the mountains of Israel. What is prophesied will come to pass, what is foretold will be made known. Time is short – Yeshua Ha’Mashiach is coming soon – get busy reaching the lost.