The nice thing about having to preach or write about the scriptures is that some time or other you run across a piece of a familiar passage that is utterly strange. This happened when I read one of the options for the Gospel this Passion Sunday, Matthew 27:11-54.
It starts out familiarly enough: Jesus goes before Pontius Pilate, is condemned and then crucified. When Jesus died we all know that the earth shook and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. What I barely remembered though was this verse: “The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many” (27:52-53; NRSV).
In a pop culture that is obsessed with zombies it is hard not to imagine this scene as a clip from “The Walking Dead.” I can see the streets of Jerusalem with rotted bodies wandering through the alleys, clothed in tattered robes. It would be a terrifying sight to be sure. Read more