*I believe this was a one time event to show what happens to us humans when our flesh body dies.
Matthew 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, (Many godly men and women who had died came back to life again; it appeared as if the graves opened. A one time event).
Matthew 27:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. (Notice this says “after his resurrection.” Again, this was a one time event to document that Christ had defeated death).
Many believe this event will happen again when the real Christ returns at the second advent (I’ve heard it called soul sleep). I choose not to believe as they do. See the verses below that show us what happens upon death.
*This event was predicted in more than one verse to happen upon Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.
Isaiah 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. (“Together with my body”)
John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
John 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (See more of this chapter to get a more complete picture; John 5:19-47).
*These verses, among others, explain why He died and resurrected for us.
Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
Hosea 13:14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.
1 Corinthians 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; (Just as God's children are human beings; Christ came in the flesh so He could die and break the power of the devil).
*These verses explain what happens when a human dies.
Ecclesiastes 12:6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. (Upon the death of this flesh body is what this verse is saying).
Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
Matthew 22:32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. (This is a continuation of verse Matthew 22:31).
Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
(God with us/Jesus Christ is telling the thief on the cross what will happen to him today, and all others, upon death of their flesh bodies. This didn’t happen to the thief only and it doesn't happen at a later date as some believe, it happens the instant one dies).
Luke 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. (“A spirit doesn’t have flesh and bones”).
2 Corinthians 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
(I believe 2 Corinthians 5:8 tells us the exact same thing as Luke 23:43 does. The day you die is the day you are present with the Lord).
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
(The part of us that is left over when we die must go where God is to face judgment [The day you die]).
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
*We have two bodies.
1 Corinthians 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
[We have two bodies, a natural one and a spiritual one. See 2 Corinthians 5:1-8. The spiritual body is what we spend eternity in, not this flesh/natural body that is temporary only. What does the word “raised” mean in 1 Corinthians 15:44? Resurrection (a transition from flesh to spirit) is what I think it means].
This is exactly what I choose to believe. The above verses say to me that when we die, our spirits and spiritual bodies depart this flesh, and immediately are with Him in Paradise/Heaven, where God is right now. We go there to face judgment. These flesh bodies are not needed any more, they're dead; they go back to dust/dirt/earth; in other words, they decompose. We have two bodies; see 1 Corinthians 15:40-44 again. The God I choose to believe in is the God of the living. I've tried to connect the dots. After one studies the verses quoted, then one should pray and contemplate on this subject. It is recommended that then one should make up their own mind as to what they believe about this topic; let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. Keep studying my friends.