According to Matthew, when Jesus died, the earthquake split the rocks and bodies arose. This “raising of the saints”, who they were and what they did is a controversial subject. The account indicates they rose up and were visible to many but gives no indication as to what they may have done. If they rose to be witnesses, to whom did they witness? Did they meet with the disciples? The apostles were accused of “filling Jerusalem with their teaching” (Acts 5:28) – it seems likely that if risen saints were spreading the teachings of Christ, there would be some record. It must also be noted that neither the Mark, Luke or John accounts collaborate the earthquake and the opening of graves.
We suggest, instead, that during the earthquake, bodies that had been buried were thrown up and exposed to view where they remained visible until after Christ's resurrection. These corpses would have been seen by many persons in the city. Alternatively, some have suggested that perhaps this is a reference to the Apostles and disciples who were hiding in the cemetery to escape arrest. These men (saints) were the ones aroused from their sleep due to the earthquake. In any case, there was no resurrection of dead saints.