When Zombies Roamed the Streets of Jerusalem

Since the fall, the world has been locked into the “life-death cycle”. But  as the Son of God rises, death starts to work backwards. Life flows generously and abundantly from and through Jesus into the bodies of those who knew him (the “saints”). Suddenly the life-death cycle becomes the life-death-life cycle. It is a powerful statement of what he died and rose to achieve: he brings life to all who belong to him.


There are some parts of the Bible that seem seriously weird to us. Take the end of Matthew 27 for example, with its image of the undead wandering around Jerusalem. It’s one of those passages that I’ve never heard anyone preach on, possibly because it seems to raise more questions than it answers.

And yet, as always, when we take the time to dig a bit deeper some things start to come in focus.

“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” Matthew 27 v 50-54

Matthew’s description of the death of Jesus, written for a Jewish audience steeped in scripture, is packed with hints and echoes from the Old Testament. Jesus’ final breath causes rocks to split, the temple curtain to rend, the earth to shake, graves to split open. Powerful symbols of the significance of Jesus sacrificial death. The son of God dies and the world he created shudders in horror.

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