We continue our meditation from yesterday on Jesus’ words in Luke, chapter 20, where Jesus talked about the eternal state. The Lord had four thoughts for the Sadducees, who scoffed at the thought of a resurrection of the dead. We looked at the first one yesterday, and we’ll look at the second and third today. Here’s what Jesus said:
34Jesus replied, "The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35But 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, 36and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection. 37But 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.' 38He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive" (Luke 20:34-38).
2) The Lord spoke of the resurrection as a fact (v. 35), and although the Sadducees only used the five books of Moses, Christ used those books to prove that the patriarchs are very much alive and are at present with the Lord. 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.' 38He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive" (vs. 37-38). When God spoke those words to Moses, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were dead for over 400 years. The Lord reminded the Sadducees that God didn’t say, “I was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but He used the present tense to speak of them as very much alive after they had passed from this world.
The Sadducees could see no evidence of resurrection in the five books of Moses, but they had a moment of revelation at the insight of Jesus. After this debate, no one dared to ask Jesus any more questions. His arguments were causing the religious leaders to question their own beliefs, and they were unsuccessful in swaying the crowd away from following the Lord.
3) The third point Jesus made to the Sadducees was that there is no death in the eternal state, for those considered worthy will be like the angels (v. 36). If we are to be like the angels, what does that mean? Angels are entrusted with great power. When the Assyrians attacked Jerusalem, King Hezekiah of Israel cried out to the Lord to deliver Jerusalem. God sent one angel. The power of one angel was enough to defeat a whole army!
Then the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! (Isaiah 37:36).
The word angel means messenger. They were described as having a brilliant appearance. When people encountered angels in Scripture, often, their reaction was to be afraid and to fall to the ground (Daniel 10:5-9). Meeting an angel is overwhelming to our physical state. We could say much about the holiness, power, and character of the angels, but suffice it to say that the believer in Christ, if he is to be like the angels, will be an extraordinary personality radiating the likeness of the Lord. Paul the Apostle told the Corinthian Church that God's people would be "sown in weakness" but "raised in power" (I Corinthians 15:43). In the book of Daniel the prophet, those counted as worthy, or wise, will radiate light when the end shall come, and the dead are raised:
2Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever (Daniel 12:2-3).
I don’t know about you, but I want that! Are you helping those around you come to receive Christ's righteousness? If you are, you are wise! Keith Thomas
Shortened from the more extensive study at the following link: Questions About Eternity.