When some people are six hours from death, they think about relationships.
We look forward to seeing people who have already died. We plan to ask questions, to tell stories. We worry about whether we will be recognized.
So when Jesus answers a question by saying that in the resurrection we won’t be married, it worries some people. All the time invested in our best friend here and we may not even know each other there? What kind of God would break up relationship like that, now and forever?
And we struggle with unnecessary grief.
But that’s not what Jesus is saying.
Some people who didn’t believe in resurrection at all made up a hypothetical.
“What if there were seven husbands, all according to the law God gave. She couldn’t be married to them all, could she? See, the idea of the resurrection creates complications. That’s why we don’t believe in it.”
And Jesus says, in essence, you have that backward.
Let’s start with the resurrection.
That’s not normal, not for this age, this part of existence.
So what would be normal, birth, marriage, babies, death, is completely disrupted. No deaths, no births, so no marriage.
But that doesn’t mean no awareness of each other.
That doesn’t mean no relationships with each other.
It does mean that it’s a whole new kind of normal.
And it’s a fulfilment.
When Paul wants to paint a picture of how much God loves people, he uses the image of Christ and the church, of husband and wife. When the dead are raised, after the resurrection, in the new Jerusalem that Isaiah talks about, that John writes about, Christ is with the church and the church is with Christ. There is no need for models, for metaphors, for illustrations.
The time Jesus is talking about, that age, is so much different than this age.
It’s okay to look forward to catching up.
I’m convinced that we’ll know each other, that we’ll appreciate each other.
But I’m also convinced that things will make sense in that kingdom. We’ll understand the whys and grief and annoyances and pain of this life, then.
Until then, however, we look to Jesus.