“At The Cross”
“THE DEATH OF JESUS,” V, Matthew 27:52) AND THE GRAVES WERE OPENED, AND MANY BODIES OF THE SAINTS WHICH SLEPT AROSE, Psalm 68:20. 53) AND CAME OUT OF THE GRAVES AFTER HIS RESURRECTION, AND WENT INTO THE HOLY CITY, AND APPEARED UNTO MANY.
John Gill’s Exposition Of The Bible – v52, And the graves were opened Which were near the city of Jerusalem: THIS WAS A PROOF OF CHRIST’S POWER OVER DEATH AND THE GRAVE, BY DYING; WHEN HE THROUGH DEATH, DESTROYED him that had power of it, AND ABOLISHED DEATH ITSELF; AND BECAME THE PLAGUE OF DEATH AND THE DESTRUCTION OF THE GRAVE, TAKING INTO HIS HAND THE KEYS OF HELL AND DEATH: and many bodies of saints which slept, arose: not that they arose at the time of CHRIST’S DEATH: the graves were opened then, when the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent; but the bodies of the saints did not arise, till after CHRIST WAS RISEN, as appears from the following verse; but because the other event now happened, they are both recorded here: these were saints, and such as Slept In JESUS; and of whom HE IS THE FIRST FRUITS THAT NOW ROSE; and not all, but many of them, as pledges of THE FUTURE RESURRECTION, AND FOR THE CONFIRMATION OF CHRIST’S, AND THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF A PROPHECY IN ( Isaiah 26:19 ) . And they rose in the same bodies in which they before lived, otherwise they could not be called their bodies, or known by those to whom they appeared: but who they were is not to be known; some have thought them to be the ancient patriarchs, as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob In the Septuagint on ( Job 42:17 ) , Job is said to be one of them, and a tradition is there recorded, which runs thus: “it is written, that he rose with whom THE LORD ROSE.” But it should seem rather, that they were some later Saints, such as Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, John the Baptist himself, good old Simeon, Joseph the husband of Mary, and others, well known to persons now alive. Some think they were such, as had been martyrs in the cause of Religion; and so the Persic version renders the words, “and the bodies of many Saints who suffered martyrdom, rose out of the graves”. v53, And came out of the graves after HIS RESURRECTION THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST, FOR HE ROSE AS THE FIRST FRUITS, AS THE FIRST BEGOTTEN OF THE DEAD, AND THE FIRSTBORN FROM THE DEAD; FOR HE WAS THE FIRST THAT WAS RAISED TO AN IMMORTAL LIFE; FOR THOUGH OTHERS WERE RAISED BEFORE HIM, BY HIMSELF, AND IN THE TIMES OF THE PROPHETS, YET A MORTAL LIFE; BUT THESE SAINTS CAME FORTH TO THE RESURRECTION OF LIFE, AND THEREFORE IT WAS NECESSARY THAT CHRIST THE FIRST FRUITS, SHOULD RISE FIRST. The Arabic version indeed reads, “after their own Resurrection”; and the Ethiopic version, “after they were Raised”; both wrong, and scarcely sense: and went into the holy city; the city of Jerusalem, which though now a very wicked city, was so called, because of The Temple, AND THE WORSHIP OF GOD, AND HIS RESIDENCE IN IT: the burying places of the Jews were without the city F1, and therefore these Risen Saints, are said to go into it: and appeared unto many; of their friends and acquaintance, who had personally known them, and conversed with them in their lifetime. These Saints, I apprehend, continued on earth until our LORD’S ASCENSION, and then joining the Retinue Of Angels, Went Triumphantly With HIM To Heaven, As Trophies Of HIS VICTORY OVER SIN, Satan, death, and the grave.