READING: Leviticus 12:1-14:32, Matthew 27:32-56
Only Matthew records the story of believers rising from the dead in glorified bodies when Jesus died. Likely Old Testament followers of God, these who had died looking forward in faith to the coming of the Messiah now shared in the victory that Messiah had just secured. He was the fulfillment of their faith and the answer to their prayers. Surely it was strange to see these resurrected saints walking around the city of Jerusalem, but they must have caused much conversation about Jesus.
The details of this most unusual event aren’t entirely clear. It’s not clear if the graves opened and saints came forth immediately at Jesus’ death, or if the graves opened at His death and the bodies came forth after His resurrection. What matters, though, is the teaching of the text: resurrection of the saints is tied directly to the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Lamb of God had been sacrificed to atone for their sins, and His coming victory over death would break the power of the penalty for their sin.
Had Jesus not died and come to life again, we would be hopeless indeed. But, He did die. Literally. For us. And, as we will see in the next chapter of Matthew, He did come to life again. Literally. Thus, our hope is real. Our life is secured in Him. He is the resurrection and the life, and we’re privileged to be His children.
PRAYER: “God, I rejoice today in the victory we have in Christ.”
DAILY ACTION STEP: Be amazed today at the promise of resurrection.
TOMORROW’S READING: Leviticus 14:33-16:44, Matthew 27:57-28:20