“Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. ‘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. Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. The second and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. Finally, the woman died too. Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?’
Jesus replied, ‘The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 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, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. 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. He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.’
Some of the teachers of the law responded, ‘Well said, teacher!’ And no one dared to ask him any more questions. – Luke 20:27-40
The Sadducees thought they had a question that would stump Jesus and disprove the resurrection. Jesus flips their argument around on them and illustrates a powerful truth that should encourage every believer.
The Sadducees tried to use the Law of Moses to show how the resurrection could not be true or else who would the woman be married to in eternity?
Jesus addresses their question first and then points out why the motivation for their question was flawed from the beginning.
The Sadducees didn’t understand or ignored the difference between this earthly life and the next. On earth, people marry and are given in marriage, but in eternity our bodies have changed “they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.”
Jesus then addresses the fundamental problem in their thinking. While the Sadducees acknowledged Moses and his writings as their authority, somehow they had come to the conclusion that there was no resurrection and this life was all there was for humans.
Jesus uses their respect for Moses to prove to them that there is in fact a resurrection and eternal life. “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. He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”
What a wonderful statement to hold onto, “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living”.
This then is our hope in Christ. Those who have passed away are not truly dead, but alive and in the presence of God. They are done with this broken earthly body and are awaiting their glorified bodies (1 Corinthians 15).
Some day you will read in the papers that D.L. Moody of East Northfield, is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now – D.L. Moody
Our Story does not end in Death