Friday, December 31, 2010

What was that about?

Matthew 27:51-53 "And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many"
It's curious how this bit is found only in Matthew, the gospel to the Jews, and dropped so quickly that Matthew presumes the reader would immediately know the significance and move on to the next point.  For myself, I think it's a reference

Ezekiel 37:1-6 "The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" And I answered, "O Lord GOD, you know." Then he said to me, "Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the LORD."
And now the Key point I think Matthew is referencing
Ezekiel 37:11-14 "Then he said to me, "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, 'Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.' Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD."
That would mean that the rest of Ezekiel 37:15-28 is a fulfillment of the Samaritans being rejoined to Israel, the King ruling over all time is Jesus on His ascension and crucifixion, and that the promise of eternity in paradise of safety is, like the rest, a spiritual fulfillment of the goodness of God. 
That is to say, Ezekiel 37 is trying to get us to see that it's fulfillment is in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.  That scripture is grounded and rooted in the cross.  Small wonder then that Paul says in 1 Cor 15:3 that the key to understanding is the crucifixion.

1 comment:

Derek Ashton said...

Wow, that's a connection I've never seen before. Very interesting.