Interpreting Matt. 27:52-53

Q. I have read some interpretations of Matt. 27:52 & 53, but I would like to hear also from you.Could these verses be taken literally, or is there some deeper interpretation behind it? Also, who were the holy people who had died and raised to life, as mentioned in Matt. 27:52. Your time in giving a clear explanation is highly appreciated..God bless you.

A. Here’s the passage. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people (Matt. 27:52-53).

The golden rule of Bible interpretation tells us when the plain sense of a passage makes common sense we’re to seek no other sense. Matt. 27:52-53 makes sense just as it’s written. There’s no reason to look behind the words in search of a deeper or hidden meaning.

The holy people of Matt. 27:52 were Old Testament believers. They had died in faith of a coming redeemer who would pay the penalty for their sins. Their resurrection fulfilled the prophetic nature of the wave offering that took place on the Feast of Firstfruits (Leviticus 23:9-11), the day Jesus rose from the grave .

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