(The last of a series of posts from a message on November 6 based on Luke 20:27-40. I encourage you to read the passage first.)
Two: The resurrection doesn’t look like this life.
The Sadducees had built their argument on the assumption that there is marriage in the afterlife, just like here. In fact, that whatever is after this is just like this.
And Jesus says, “no.”
It’s not that food and drink and marriage are unimportant or inferior. They are central parts of this life. And the big centerpiece of the afterlife is a wedding feast.
But in the afterlife, there isn’t need for marriage, with its purpose of having babies, because there isn’t need for babies to carry on the family line because there isn’t death. There’s one Father, God, and everyone there are children of God, and marriage isn’t necessary.
This is hard for us, actually. Probably harder than it would have been for the Sadducees. We have a romantic picture of the afterlife, heaven, the resurrection, that is built around seeing and spending time with the people we know in the way that we know them. We base our comfort on what it will be like to have family connections without tension.
But Jesus is saying that the relationship with God is more fulfilling, more real, that relationship with each other.
I grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago. I became a Cubs fan. A strong believer that things won’t work.
People who are fans of lost causes often try to make deals with God. If you do that, I’ll do this. If you help them win, I’ll go to church.If you heal my mom, I’ll change my life.
And then God doesn’t come through and we feel hurt. And we walk away. But we miss the possibility that what we understand about how things work isn’t the way that things actually work.
- Jesus may not give answers to questions that aren’t questions but are opportunities to posture.
- Jesus will emerge from the conversation as the one with authority.
- The life after this one won’t look like this one.
- Whatever it is, it’s different than this one.
- Whatever it is, it’s better.