Immediately following Jesus’s death, Matthew 27:51-53 says that there was an earthquake that exposed numerous graves on the outskirts of Jerusalem, and “many bodies of the saints which slept arose.”
Not only did many among the dead rise, but Matthew claims that they entered the city of Jerusalem, appearing “unto many.”
So this is quite a stunning claim. Graves would have been exposed all around the outskirts of Jerusalem from Friday until Sunday, and if you happened to be walking among these burial places on Sunday, you would have seen many corpses of the dead coming “out of their graves.”
But why believe this story? After all, no other ancient writer save Matthew records anything about this. It’s as if a UFO had descended on Jerusalem and no one, apart from Matthew, thought it worthy of marking the event in historical memory. The simplest explanation for why no one recorded it, save Matthew, is that it didn’t happen.
Matthew’s Night of the Living Dead passage thus leads to this question: if Matthew can make a wild and unsubstantiated claim concerning many people rising from the dead, why should we believe his claim that Jesus rose from the dead?