Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him,…
On what foundation do we build our hope for the future? Not now on any philosophical deductions; these, may have a certain measure of strength to some minds, but they are not firm enough to carry such a weight as the hope of immortality. We build on the Word that cannot be broken - on the promise of Jesus Christ. Our future depends upon the will of our Divine Creator, on the purpose of our God, and only he who came from God can tell us what that purpose is. Here, as elsewhere, we have -
I. THE FIRM GROUND OF CHRISTIAN PROMISE. Our Lord tells us, from his own knowledge, that there is a future for the sons of men. And he indicates some features of this future.
1. Our life will be one of perfect purity. There is to be nothing of the grosser element that enters into our social relations here (ver. 35). Great founders of great faiths have promised to their disciples a paradise of enjoyment of a lower kind. Christ leads us to hope for a life from which everything that is sensual will be removed. Love will remain, but it will be spiritual, angelic, absolutely pure.
2. It will be a life without end, and therefore without decay. "Neither can they die any more" (ver. 36). How blessed the life that knows no fear of interruption, of dissolution, of sudden cessation, and, more particularly, that is free from the haunting consciousness of passing on to a time when faculty must fade, or the sadder sense of decline already commenced or even hastening to its end! What will it be to live a life that becomes ever brighter and fuller as the periods of celestial service pass away!
3. It will be a life of highest honor and elevation. "They are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection" (ver. 36). "Now are we the sons of God," and when the future life is disclosed our sonship will mean yet more to us - it will be life on a loftier plane, in a deeper and fuller sense; we shall be nearer to God, and more like him in our faculty and in our spirit and our character.
II. THE ADDITIONAL SUPPORT OF CHRIST'S INFERENCE. To be "the God of Abraham," he argued, meant to be the God of a living soul; he whose God was the living God was a living man in the fullest sense. For God to be our God includes everything we need. The living God is the God of living men; the loving God of loving men; the blessed God of happy men; the holy God of holy men. All the highest good for which we long in our noblest hours is guaranteed to us in that "the everlasting God, the righteous and the faithful and the loving, One, is our God.
1. The heritage of the future is not promised unconditionally; there are "those accounted worthy to obtain" it; therefore there are those who are not worthy, and who will miss it.
2. The condition that is implied is that of a living personal connection with God himself. Those who can truly claim him as "their God" may confidently look forward to an eternal home in his presence and in his service. To us, to whom he has revealed himself in his Son, this means a living union with Jesus Christ our Savior. To know him, to live unto him, to abide in him, - this is life eternal. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him,