Days after the most recent Easter celebration I was involved in a conversation on Facebook with a friend that went like this:
David: "Charlie, have you ever done a sermon or teaching on Matthew 27: 52-53 or do you know were I can find some information or commentary about those two verses?"
Me: "I can't recall if I have...but not surprising, I'm at the age where I forget that I don't remember stuff! Are you preparing a study to share with others, David, or just for your own study?"
David: "My life group class is going to do a study on what Mathew is talking about in those passages. We all hear about Jesus dying on the cross for us but I have not heard anybody talk about those two passages. Just asking and seeing if you might know of any place to look for more information about them."
Me: "What are your thoughts?"
David: "I take it literally that those other people who were resurrected when Jesus died, were brought back to testify about Jesus Christ, that He is going to come back from the dead also."
Me: "So is the question in the group about whether to take this report literally?"
David: "yes and no; and what is the purpose of Mathew reporting about this occurrence and to see why very few people will talk about this occurrence."
Me: "Here's a couple thoughts: I just read a quote from Dale Carnegie "people are not creatures of logic, people are creatures of emotion..." Think of the stirring events at the moment of his death --the earthquake, the tearing of the temple veil, dead people come alive walking out of graves-- like the fireworks that go off after a rousing team victory at a sports stadium...very moving and awe-inspiring. I think the Father put an exclamation point on the work of the cross that was undeniable by even the most indifferent of spectators, like the Roman Centurion, who said, "Surely this was the Son of God!"
Also, the resurrection of those saints surely is woven into the fabric of the faith of the church passed down through generations of believers!"
David: "I was also thinking that they were giving hope to those that were hiding and afraid of the Romans and the Jews that Jesus Christ is not dead but alive and still with us and to this day we still need that assurance."
Me: "Amen! What can better inspire courage and boldness than the knowledge and heart-felt wonder that what you believe is True?!"
David: "Still wondering why nobody will talk about those two passages."
Me: "Maybe God left it up to you, brother!!"
David: "maybe...I am praying for some answers."
Me: "I'm praying the answers you have will ring true in true hearts!"