Faithlife Sermons

Children of the Resurrection

Luke's Gospel  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  27:32
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All Saints

We’re a week out from Halloween - or ‘All Halo’s Eve’ and ‘All Saints Day’.
Like most of the strange Christian things that people do the traditions are often forgotten.
All Souls - or All Halo’s reminds us of teh promise - or the problem of death for all of us. And we scare each other with monsters and things.
Only to send them away with sweets.
A reminder that because of Jesus we need not fear death - or the little monsters that bring it.
On the other hand - All Saints - the day after Halloween is a day to remember those who have gone before us. And showed us a good example.
Saint - is a shortening of sanctus - reminding us of Holy - ‘made Holy’.
We look to the saints as good examples of how to follow Jesus faithfully.

Discredit Jesus?

As we reach the end of Luke’s gospel we are reading the events / stories / interactions that occur just before Jesus is crucified. We are in the final week of his life.
And Jesus speaks harshly about the people in charge at the time - the Saducees, Pharisees, religious leaders.
In CHapter 20:9-16 Jesus tells a parable about evil tenants in charge of a vineyard. And how the owner of the vineyard will severely punish the tenants.
Pharisees and Sadducees listening are convicted by what Jesus says. Because they have tended the nation selfishly - for their own gain.
They’re also worred because Jesus’ words will get the people on the ground excited - he might spark a revolution.
They need to get rid of him - and the best they can think of is to prove him wrong in his teaching.
In this case - the Sadducees test Jesus...

Sadducees

Back in the time of Jesus - what we know as the Old Testament - was not fully agreed upon.
The Sadducees only held the books of Moses to be authoritative:
Genesis, Exodus Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
The Pharisees were happy to consider the books of history, the scrolls of the prophets and the Psalms to also be authoritative scripture.
Because the books of Moses - the Torah - don’t explicitly mention Resurrection. The Sadducees didn’t believe in life after this life.
For them - righteousness was its own reward… and the greatest hope you had was that your legacy would be carried on through your children.
Or that you would live a long and fruitful life.
The Pharisees on the other hand hoped for the resurrection.

The Question: “Whose wife will she be?”

They’re not actually interested in the answer.
To them - the law of levirate marriage - in which a widowed woman is married to her husband’s brother. Was a very practical and compassionate lawthat insured that widows weren’t abandoned and left homeless.
They have already concluded that this kind of law negates the possibility of resurrection life - ‘whose wife will she be?’
Jesus answer to them is in two parts.
1 - Resurrection Life is Different.
2 - Resurrection is mentioned in the Torah

1 - Resurrection Life is Different

So first Jesus compares this life to life in that age of resurrection:
The New International Version (1984) (The Resurrection and Marriage)
Lk 20:35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage,
Marriage is a plan for this life - this existence - because, with our sinful nature we need accountability.
We need the security of commitment in relationships.
We need the security in which to raise children - leveles of committment that we agree to publicly in order to help each other to be the people we need to be.
We need marriage because we are sinners.
But in the life after this - we won’t need marriage.
All of our security and trust will be in God’s love.All of our egotistical insecurities will be healed and taken away - because God’s love and presence is enough to make it so.
The New International Version (1984) (The Resurrection and Marriage)
Luke 20: 36 - and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.
And even though the Pharisees might want the law of levirate marriage to be an eternal law - it won’t be… becausae it won’t be necessary.
People no longer die.
God’s children
Children of the resurrection.
This doesn’t mean that they will be ugly about it. With no tenderness for each other - or care for each other because they are each so perfect.
It just means that they will be so completely good and complete in God that they will be able to be fully trusted.
But also their existence will be completely different.
Comfort
I find this comforting - because the one thing that bothers me about those who have gone before us is teh question: Did they know I cared? Did they know I loved?
I think we ask other questions too - are they sad because they miss me etc?
But this promise that they are God’s children - children of the ressurrection helps us to knwo what all fo tehir inadequacies and insecurities are completed in God.
They don’t worry about us - because to them - we are in God’s hands.

2 - Resurrection is in the Torah

The second part of what jesus has to say is that resurrection and life after this life IS mentioned in Torah:
The New International Version (1984) (The Resurrection and Marriage)
Luke 20:37 - But in the account of the 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.
A reminder to the Sadducees that God’s plan for eternal life has been there since the beginning and will never fade away.

Resurrection

So - As Jesus enters the last week of his life he starts to help his disciples to understand what the hope is for which they are being prepared.
Life after this life.
A life in which...
The New International Version (1984) (The Resurrection and Marriage)
Luke 20:36 - they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.
A reminder that we are being prepared for something more.
And we ought to hold on to that hope.
And live our lives on this earth - with the knowledge that God is preparing us for something more.
And that something for which God is preparing us is different.
Our suffering taken away.
Like angels - no longer in need… but at the same time blessed with the experience of our humanity...
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