Luke 20:27-40 - There came to Him (Jesus) some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, and they asked Him a question, saying, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and died without children. And the second and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. Afterward the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife." And Jesus said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now He is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to Him." Then some of the scribes answered, "Teacher, you have spoken well." For they no longer dared to ask Him any question.
There is a question that can haunt you after someone you love dies. Where are they now? We may know where their bodies lie, but what about the rest of them—the mind, the heart, the spirit? Where are they? Do they still exist at all? Or have they vanished, like breath on the wind?
We are Christians. We know the correct answers. But human is human, and grief is grief, and it is not surprising when these kinds of doubts arise in our minds. Jesus does not blame us for it. Instead, He provides us with an answer—and from a really strange place.
Jesus is having a—well, let's be polite and call it a "discussion" with the Sadducees. This was a Jewish religious group that didn't believe in the resurrection or in any real kind of life after death, unlike other Jews of Jesus' time. They try to trap Jesus with a ridiculous story based on a technical point of Moses' Law. Jesus does answer them—but He does much better for us—He answers the real concern behind the silly story—do the dead still exist?
And He does it by appealing to a really mundane detail—one of God's favorite names for Himself in the Old Testament. God says to Moses, "I AM the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob" (Exodus 3:6a).
Now that only makes sense if Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob still exist. Otherwise God would have said "I was the God of Abraham," and so forth. God and Abraham are still in relationship—even 2,000 years after Abraham's death.
You may be grieving for someone you love right now. I am. And it's hard to anchor your mind and heart when you think of the person you love but cannot imagine what they are doing right now—where they are, what their surroundings look like. Jesus gives us an anchor. "I am the God of insert name here," He says. That person still exists, and is in God's hands. We can be sure, because as Jesus says, "Now He is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to Him."
THE PRAYER: Lord, help me entrust the people I love into Your hands while they live and when they die. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Do you like to learn about grammar? Why or why not?
2. Are you grieving for someone right now? Who?
3. How do you talk to God when you are grieving? How does He strengthen you?
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