After Jesus' death, Matthew shares a detail that the other evangelists neglected:
51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many.
I find it eerily beautiful. Jesus' death sends shock waves through the earth, resulting in an earth quake and split rocks. But it sends shocks through the world of the dead too, so much so that the tombs were opened and the bodies of the dead were raised. But they waited inside their own opened tombs for Jesus' resurrection. Only after Jesus was raised do these saints wander into Jerusalem to appear to many.
It's a preemptive resurrection.
And I wonder if it isn't our story too - if we aren't raised by the waters of baptism to a similar preemptive baptism. Too often still wearing our grave clothes and unwilling to come out of the tomb on our own. Waiting for one bolder and stronger than us to be raised to take those first steps out into new life.
And I wonder if preemptive resurrection isn't the gift of Holy Week. We will be raised on the last day, to be sure. But in this Holy Week, we receive a preemptive resurrection - a gift of new life left out ahead of time. God's abundant life again sending shock waves into our own world, into our lives,and into our deaths.