Question 43: How can Yeshua be the Firstfruits of the resurrection since people were raised from the dead before Him (e.g., Matthew 27:52)?

Matthew 27:52 says:

52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the [a]saints who had fallen asleep were raised; (NASB)

Answer: Keep in mind, there are two categories of resurrection. There is the resurrection that is merely a restoration back to natural life, and all of those resurrected in this category died again later. That would have been true of those who were resurrected by Elijah and Elisha and people like Lazarus, whom Yeshua raised from the dead during His ministry. The same principle applies to those resurrected in Matthew 27:52. Saints were resurrected and came to Jerusalem, but they all died again later.

The second type of resurrection is resurrection to immortality, where corruption puts on incorruption and mortality puts on immortality (I Cor. 15:53-55). Those resurrected in this category cannot die again. Yeshua, so far, is the only one who has been resurrected in this manner.

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Arnold Answers is a bi-weekly Q & A with founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.