How did the Jewish government handle the resurrections of the dead during the Good Friday story? I mean today once your social security file is closed its over for you! Imagine how our government would handle the dead coming back into the cities! Is there any Jewish mention of these saints when they came back into the city as the scriptures say they did?


There is no contemporary mention of the events in Matthew 27:51-53 (except in Matthew of course).  Because we have no record of this, I suppose you are free to speculate what happened.  I once heard a preacher read from a tongue-in-cheek article from the Jerusalem Press the day after the resurrection, and the fictionalized account mentioned the dead walking around.  So, although this is a fun question, it will have to remain unanswered.  We do not know how people responded to these mysterious events.

Actually, although the rising of the holy people is not mentioned by contemporaries, there is one account about the darkening of the sky at the time of the death of Jesus.  This is found in the writing of a certain Thallus  We know of Thallus only from a third century Christian historian named Julius Africanus.  Thallus wrote a three-volume treatise of world history in the 50s AD.  In discussing the darkness at the time of the resurrection of Jesus, Julius Africanus mentions that in the 3rd book of Thallus’ history, he mentions the darkness and calls it an eclipse of the sun.  Africanus believes that Thallus is wrong—that there was no eclipse at that time.  Whether or not this source proves the darkness at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion is debatable, but it does support the idea that even non-Christians were aware of the resurrection as early as the 50s AD—at about the time the first book of the NT was written.  It also supports the claim, not necessarily of the darkness having occurred, but of the darkness having been claimed and believed by the Christians.

So, although we do not have mention of the raised holy ones at the time of the death of Jesus, we have Thallus who wrote only about 25 years after the event, trying to explain the darkness as a solar eclipse. The problem is that there was no solar eclipse at that time, so Thallus’ explanation is incorrect. This leads to the reasonable conclusion that the darkness at the time of the death of Jesus was common knowledge and that the enemies of the Christians felt the need to explain this darkness–resorting to explanations which are definitely not correct!

John Oakes

Comments are closed.