50Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
51And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to
the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the
holy city, and appeared unto many.
Earlier today I happened upon a blog that mentioned Mathew 27, verses 52 and 53, and the controversy in the evangelical Christian community about whether what the verses say actually happened (or were more symbolic words). I went to look up the verses. Whoa! What's this? I might have heard something about the tombs breaking open when Christ died on the cross, but 3 days later (when Christ arose) the people in those tombs also rose from the dead and went into Jerusalem where they appeared o many?!
I've read my Bible. I grew up in church. I've heard the story of Christ's death and resurrection thousands of times. If you go and read Matthew 27, and you are someone who grew up in the church, you will recognize almost every part of the story. The crown of thorns; the vinegar they gave him to drink; the mocking; the earthquake upon his death; the temple curtain ripping in half from top to bottom; the resurrection, etc.. WHY is the resurrection of these other believers not a regular part of the story we all learn as children? WHY has it been left out?
Is it that this is TOO far out there? Maybe our Christian leaders are afraid that including this part of the story in the oral retelling will freak people out? Is this part considered unimportant? Is it boring? What's the deal?
I don't have any answers to this one. I'm all questions this time. I'm sure that this part of the story isn't news to anybody who has carefully studied scripture. My question is, why is it not included in the ORAL retelling--the kind we hear from the pulpit, or shared in children's books or movies?
What are your thoughts?