Would you please respond with your interpretation and belief regarding Matt. 27:52-53, where dead saints are resurrected at Jesus’ death.
The passage in question describes an event at the death of Jesus, when “the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to the bottom, and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city, and appeared to many” (vs. 51-53). Some translations indicate that the saints were resurrected at the moment Jesus died and after Jesus’ resurrection went into the “holy city, and appeared unto many.” For example, the American Translation reads, “the earth shook, the rocks split, the tombs were opened and many of the saints who had fallen asleep rose and left their tombs and after his resurrection went into the holy city and showed themselves to many people.” The change is only a slight re-wording of the text in the process of translation, and makes the event much more understandable.
Actually, the clarification in the meaning requires only the moving of one comma, as is done in Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott: “The tombs were opened; and many bodies of the sleeping saints were raised; and coming forth from the tombs, after his resurrection went into the holy city, and appeared to many.”
This incident is apparently one more means that God used to add weight to the evidence of the Resurrection. And from the reading of the passage it would seem that the resurrected appearance of these persons was for those who had been instrumental in Christ’s death, rather than to Jesus’ own followers. It is not hard to imagine the effect it had on those hard-hearted unbelievers.
How long these persons lived we are not told. Perhaps it was only for a few days. It was not the “resurrection of the last day,” and those restored to mortal life had to return again to the grave to await the final resurrection at Christ’s second coming.