Q. I’m wondering about the saints that came out of their graves after Jesus was resurrected. Why do you think only some were raised out of their graves? Also, did they receive glorified bodies at that time? Or did they come out of their graves only to appear to those in the city and then disappear? Did they live another lifetime on earth and then die again, or did they receive glorified bodies and go to heaven like Jesus did? And last, are they also considered as being part of the first fruit like Jesus, since they were raised at the same time?
A. We don’t know how many Old Testament saints came out of their graves, because the Greek word simply means many or large. We do know that only those who believed in a coming Messiah who would die for their sins were saved, even if they kept the law perfectly. Therefore, it’s possible that all who were saved came out of their graves.
The only specifics we’re given on their physical state is that they were visible. But Ephesians 4:8 says “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.” From this we believe the Lord took them to Heaven with Him.
On the morning of the Feast of First Fruits the priests took a sheaf of the first grain they harvested and waved it before the altar to dedicate the harvest to the Lord (Lev. 23:9-11). It was called the wave offering. I believe these Old Testament saints were the wave offering that dedicated the harvest of souls in the first resurrection.