“Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. 28 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.29 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. 30 The second 31 and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?” 34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. 37 But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’[b] 38 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” 39 Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!”40 And no one dared to ask him any more questions.” Luke 20.27-38
”God is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” v.38
What a great word! Jesus is again faced with people trying to test him. This time it’s the Sadducees who are asking about marriage in the resurrection. Jesus answers the question by telling them there is no marriage in the resurrection. No marriage in heaven. Also, there is no death in heaven for “they will be like the angels.” But then he says those who are resurrected are God’s children since “they are children of the resurrection.” (He’s making a case for the resurrection of the body from the dead.)
Jesus then brings to mind the story of Moses and the burning bush in which God refers to himself as the God of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob. This is present tense speech. He IS the God of these men. Jesus is affirming that God is the God of the living, and that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are alive! This makes the case not only for the resurrection but also for the salvation of those in the Old Testament who loved and followed God even before Jesus.
So what does this mean for us if God is the God of the living? We’ll certainly, it brings hope! Is Jesus a liar? Can he be trusted? He who himself was raised from the dead and then ascended into heaven, witnessed by hundreds of people, will return to us one day. So why is God silent now? Why isn’t he moving around? Why hasn’t he returned? I would argue that Jesus is not silent, he lives in the hearts and minds of the believers. 1 Corinthians 6.19-20 tells us our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit! Christ is alive in us.
Not only is Christ living in all believers, we will live with him once this life is complete. The resurrection of the dead is crucial to our eternal security in heaven. God has provided a place for us as Jesus tells us in John’s Gospel, “I will not leave you as orphans, I will prepare a place for you.”
The good news is that this life is not the end. Life is precious, to be cherished, and for those who are in Christ, life continues even past death.
This is where we place our hope. When the world seems to be spinning out of control, when the devil is sowing death and destruction, God is sowing life, peace and assurance of eternity.
Will you trust this God with your eternal existence? Will you lean into the hope of heaven?
”O Lord God, you are good. I thank you for loving me and for setting my security in heaven. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and love. Help me walk in the hope of everlasting life, believing on your word and trusting in your name. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen