Was Daniel 12:2 Fulfilled in Matthew 27:52? – #5
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)
This is article # 5 in this series.
There are some preterists who believe that the resurrection of the saints in Matthew was the direct fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy. In the previous articles I have demonstrated that this is an untenable position.
In article #4 we took note that Daniel said that those resurrected would be raised to “eternal life.” I suggested that this fact alone dispels any possibility that Matthew 27 fulfilled Daniel’s prophecy. Let me follow up on that.
As we noted, 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.
Note that in Hebrews 11 the author chronicles the lives of the great men and women of faith under the Old Covenant, even extending to creation, i.e. Abel. He speaks of their eschatological hope of the heavenly country and city (i.e. Zion) as well as “the better resurrection” (v. 35).
Daniel 12:2 — They Without Us, Cannot Be Made Perfect
The author then says that those worthies all died in faith “not having received the promises” given to them.
Hebrews is clearly positing the fulfillment of their hope– which was the hope of the resurrection (11:35) – as something about to be fulfilled. Note that their hope was the“heavenly Jerusalem” (Zion) and he says, “you have come to Mount Zion!” (V. 21). They stood on the very cusp of the “better resurrection”!
Notice now what he says back in 11:39-40 concerning the OT worthies and their hope: “they, without us, cannot be made perfect.” Do you catch the power of that? Hebrews is affirming that the OT saints and the New would receive fulfillment of their eschatological hope at the same time! The OT saints would not receive eternal life, the Heavenly Zion, etc. before or without the New Covenant saints. (This is precisely what Paul affirms in 1 Thessalonians 4:13f– see my We Shall Meet Him In The Air, the Wedding of the King of kings, for more on this critical issue.
Do you see the problem for the view that Matthew 27 is the fulfillment of Daniel 12?
Daniel 12:2 says those resurrected would be raised to eternal life. But, if they were raised to eternal life, then they received their reward before the church was even established.
They received eternal life before the outpouring of the Spirit which was the “earnest of the inheritance” i.e. the resurrection (Ephesians 1:12-13; 4:30).
They received eternal life before the gospel was even preached.
They received eternal life before the Day of Redemption, the day of Salvation.
In other words, they received their reward before the New Covenant saints would receive eternal life, redemption and salvation. This is a clear violation of what Hebrews 11:39-40 says: “They, without us, could not be made perfect.”
Thus, the idea that Matthew 27:52 was the fulfillment of Daniel 12:2 is falsified.
See my book The Resurrection of Daniel 12:2: Future or Fulfilled for a more in-depth study of the resurrection. You will be amazed at the wealth of information in this book!
More to come.