WAS DANIEL 12:2- The Resurrection to Eternal Life – FULFILLED IN MATTHEW 27:51-52 – #4
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2).
“Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised” (Matthew 27:51-52)
Be sure to read the previous three articles of this series. #1 #2 #3 This is the fourth installment in this series.
I have been asked to specifically address the question of whether Daniel’s prediction of the resurrection (12:2) was fulfilled in the awesome events recorded in Matthew 27. There are some who believe that the resurrection of the saints in Matthew was in fact the direct fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy. In the previous four articles I have demonstrated that this is an untenable position.
It is important to note that Daniel foretold the resurrection to eternal life. I suggest that this fact alone dispels any possibility that Matthew 27 fulfilled Daniel’s prophecy. Let me explain.
Daniel 12 predicted the resurrection to eternal life. So, if the saints that were raised in Matthew 27 were the fulfillment of Daniel 12 it logically demands that they received eternal life when they were raised. This is where the problem arises.
The consistent testimony of the NT writers is that salvation would arrive at the parousia of Christ (cf. 1 Peter 1:9f). Salvation would be given at Christ’s appearing, to consummate the atonement (Hebrews 9:28). Some, in their desperation to avoid the significance of this text, have resorted to the wild claim that the “salvation” to be revealed at Christ’s parousia in Hebrews 9:28 was deliverance / salvation from the physical horrors of the war of 66-70. Kurt Simmons made this unsubstantiated claim in our written debate. Be sure to get a copy of that for my response.
Note that Revelation 11:15f posits the resurrection, i.e. the time of the rewarding of the dead, at the judgment of the city, “Where the Lord was slain.” Now, notice particularly that it would be the time of the rewarding of the dead prophets. Daniel 12:13 specifically posited the time of the rewarding of the prophets at the time of the end, when the power of the holy people would be completely shattered.
So, the resurrection of Daniel 12 would be to eternal life, when the prophets would be rewarded, at the time of the end, when the power of the holy people would be completely shattered. Revelation posits the resurrection and the rewarding of the dead, including the prophets, at the time of the judgment of the city “where the Lord was slain.” Very clearly, these are parallel texts, and the resurrection and rewarding is posited, not at the cross, but at the judgment of Jerusalem.
The undeniable fact is that the New Testament writers, writing after the auspicious events of Matthew 27 all said they were awaiting the resurrection to eternal life at the coming of the Lord. Not only this, but, I am unaware of a single text that points back at the events surrounding the cross and makes a point that those who were raised were raised to eternal life. In fact, without a great deal of gymnastics, one would be hard pressed to find any reference to the resurrection of Matthew 27 in any of the epistles. One can speculate all they want, but, without good evidence, there is no proof.
In our next article, we will show how it is wrong to suggest that some of the saints received their reward in Matthew 27, and some of the dead received their reward at the judgment of the city.
Stay tuned! In the meantime, for an in-depth study of the resurrection to eternal life, see my book, The Resurrection of Daniel 12:2: Future or Fulfilled?