There have been some interesting questions floating around about what our existence will be like in eternity. Will we be married? Will we know our families and friends? How about our hobbies, will we be able to enjoy them? The questions continue.
The Sadducees thought they had devised the perfect trap to ensnare Jesus. In Jewish custom a married man was expected to father children. If he died childless, that man’s brothers were expected to marry the widow and father children to continue the dead man’s line. That way, it was thought that an heir could be provided for the man.
Because this sounded plausible to those Jews, the Sadducees set a trap for Jesus. We read in verses 32 and 33: “Afterward the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife." Whose wife would she be?
The Sadducees believed that there was no resurrection after death, so however Jesus answered their question, He would either confirm their misbelief or be wrong and they would be able to label Him as a false teacher (and a liar).
In the later verses of our reading we see that Jesus gave the Sadducees a lesson in God’s plan. It isn’t about marriage or celibacy. God is “NOT GOD OF THE DEAD, BUT OF THE LIVING.” Life after death isn’t about marriage or child-rearing or hobbies. It is about serving God and celebrating Him.
Service to God and celebration of God’s powerful love are things we have trouble wrapping our minds around because of our sinfulness. But this is why Jesus came into this world: born of a woman, grown to manhood, sacrificed on a Roman cross, buried in a borrowed grave, risen from the dead on this third day, and ascended into heaven. Jesus came and did what we mere mortals could not and would never do. He offers life and immortality to all, and He gives those gifts to all who believe in Him and seek His forgiveness.
Despite our many questions about life and death, this is one sure thing! God “is not God of the dead, but of the living.”
We pray: Lord Jesus, forgive us for our disobedience to Your Father and unbelief toward You. Send us Your Spirit to help us believe more firmly in You as our Savior and Your Father, along with You and the Holy Spirit as the only true God. Amen.