The Question about the Resurrection (Luke 20:27-40)
Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, ‘Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; then the second and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. Finally, the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her.’
Jesus said to them, ‘Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Indeed they cannot die any more, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now HE is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.’ Then some of the scribes answered, ‘Teacher, you have spoken well.’ For they no longer dared to ask him another question.
I’ve always thought of this passage as a passage on marriage and individual entity-hood in the afterlife. But reading it as one of the passages on resurrection, it’s clear that the marriage relationship isn’t a concern or focus here at all.
God of the Living has been marinating in my spirit this past week. Life and death is a consistent duality theme throughout the Old and New Testements. It’s easy to think of death as the end of everything, but God is not the Creator of dead things. Death is not the goal, purpose or outcome of Creation.
Yet our entire human experience is focused on death. We are born into a dying world. Everything we eat must die to sustain us, even those who only eat plants. Human societies glorify death by giving honor to those who sacrifice their lives to kill others in war, in service, in daily life. We hold on to people, jobs, situations that drain us of our sense of self. Dying slow deaths at the hands of people who enjoy killing us softly.
Simply by maintaining what we’ve been born into, we are tacitly choosing death every day.
The Question about the Resurrection (Matthew 22:23-33)
The same day some Sadducees came to him saying there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question: “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies childless, his brother shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers among us; the first married and died childless, leaving the widow to his brother. The second did the same, so also the third, down to the seventh. Last of all, the woman herself died. In the resurrection, then, whose wife of the seven will she be? For all of them had married her.”
Jesus answered them, “You are wrong because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection people neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels of God in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is God not of the dead but of the living.” And when the crowds heard it, they were astounded at his teaching.
The term “resurrection” implies a return to life. Humans were given a paradise to cultivate. Through human choices the world became condemned and paradise hidden from us. Since we are made of the earth, self-condemnation was the impact. Yet God so loved His Creation – the world and its hybrid human-encased-spirits – that he provided another opportunity for eternal life. A sacrifice to alleviate our self-destruction. Even as The Sacrificial Lamb was poised on the cliff of death, He said to a fellow condemned man, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Jesus’ body died. Jesus’ body returned to life. What happened to Paraadise today? Indeed, did Jesus’s spirit ever leave Paradise?
Jesus is Life. Those who enter into the truth of Jesus Christ are reborn. They are resurrected beings, returning to life in a world they were previously condemned to death in. Looking at Jesus’ response to the question about resurrection, I’m touching on an understanding of how the Resurrected can no longer die. God only sees his children as alive. His Creation is infused with His Breath. What a powerful reminder to get into your spirit.
No matter the process this world puts you through, your belief in the truth of Jesus, indeed your faith, puts you in the resurrected category in which you can experience benefits of your eternal life in this temporal world.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From on you do know him and have seen him.” ~ John 14:1-7
The Question about the Resurrection (Luke 12:18-27)
Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. There were seven brothers; the first married and, when he died, left no children, and the second married the widow and died, leaving no children, and the third likewise; none of the seven left children. Last of all the woman herself died. In the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be? For all seven had married her.”
Jesus said to them, “Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? For when people rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is God not of the dead but of the living; you are quite wrong.”
Thinking of my neighbor Ms. Cheryl. Written as a prayer and reminder.