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. Matt 27:52-53
The Bible isn’t specific as to how long this lasted. It could have been a few hours, a day, until the Ascension, or perhaps each lived until they died again.
There is just no way of knowing.
I have often wondered what would happen if there was a span of time between the resurrection of the dead in Christ and the catching-up of the living in the air.
It is written for the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. 1 Thess 4:16-17
I have always been taught this is a sequence that takes place very quickly.
This thought is due to this scripture – We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 1 Cor 15:51-52
Jesus was resurrected on the first day of the week after Passover. This day starts the countdown of 50 days to the Feast of Shavout or Pentecost.
During this time, Jesus was seen by them during forty days (Acts 1:3) and then He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. Acts 1:9
What if… WHAT IF… the dead in Christ rose first and then we are all caught up 40 days later?
And what if the dead in Christ went into [any] city and appeared to many. Matt 27:53
What kind of reaction would there be?
Imagine a DJ on a secular radio station reporting that he is talking to his grandfather in the studio. The only thing is his grandpa died 10 years ago.
The TV reports that there are dead people come back to life and walking around the city.
IF the resurrection of Christians took place like this, it could be one of the greatest revivals that has ever taken place.
Or it could go the other way.
There are those that don’t believe in this event and won’t when it happens. For many this appearance of the resurrected dead would be a great excuse to shout “Zombies!”
Of course, much of my thinking today is hypothetical. There is no guarantee that it happens the way I describe it – with a span of time between the resurrection of the dead in Christ and the translation of the living in Christ.
What I do know is both will happen.
I also know that the “walking dead” are already here. More on that next time.