"I believe in the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting"
Reading: Luke 20:27-38
Additional readings: Hosea 6:1-2
Do you believe in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting?
Do you believe that God is interested even in your body and raise your body up when Jesus returns?
We know Jesus experienced the resurrection of his body.
When Jesus was facing his death, Jesus knew that he would rise again and have his glorious body that does not get old.
That is what Jesus accomplished in God.
Then after that, Jesus ascended into heaven to be with God and is preparing places for us.
Then one day Jesus will return and transform our bodies so that we may be with him forever.
So when Christians die, they are continually with God.
When people die in Jesus, they are with God and wait to receive their transformed body at the day of resurrection of life.
Then with their transformed body, they will live with Jesus.
And God will reward them because they believe in God and obey God.
So in short there can be two kinds of experience for Christians.
Some will die and rise again in the name of Jesus.
Some will not die but see Jesus returning to rule over everything.
And believing in and obeying Jesus is the big deal.
It would make a huge difference eternally.
Those who live in the name of Jesus will rise again in the name of Jesus.
But then Jesus talked about the day of resurrection of life like this: Matthew 24:40-42
Two men will be in the field.
One will be taken and the other left.
Two women will be grinding with a hand mill.
One will be taken and the other left.
What’s that mean?
God will take only those who believe in God and obey.
God will take those who receive the faith of Jesus.
God will welcome them into God’s new world to be with God.
Here it is not about with whom you are.
It is not about whether your father is a pastor or whatever.
It is not about whether you live with a holy person.
It is not about whether you are a member of God’s church.
God only takes those who know God and hear what God is saying to them.
God will take them and welcome into God’s age to come.
For some reason, Satan didn’t like this idea.
I don’t know what wrong with him.
So Satan would try to prevent people from going to be God forever.
Satan would work hard to produce some false messiahs and false prophets and false teachers who may perform great signs and wonders.
Satan would produce some pastors or leaders who perform great signs and wonders even at their churches.
They may deceive many people through their teachings and miracles.
Those who caused people to sin like that and those who were deceived might be very sad at the day of resurrection.
God didn’t promise salvation to those who continually sin and use God’s name to do what Satan wants.
So if some churchgoers had continually done things that God hated, God might say at the day of the resurrection:
“I don’t know you.
Away from me, you evildoers.”
Jesus even says: (Matthew 24:24)
Those false prophets and teachers will deceive, if possible, even the elect.
So we pray that God may help us to be with God forever.
Then we also watch the fruits of these people.
Through fruits, we may know whether they are of God or not.
Does the love of God manifest through them?
Is the peace of God experienced through them?
Do they live like Jesus who lived the holy and humble life?
Do those who follow them live like our gentle Jesus?
Now in the days of Jesus, there were those who taught that there was no the resurrections of the body.
They didn’t believe in afterlife, angels, or spirits. (Matt 22:23-33)
Even the Pharisees disagreed with them.
But who were these people?
They were called Sadducees.
They were the Jewish upper class in the days of Jesus.
They maintained the temple and were religious.
But they were more political than spiritual.
They were liberal and worldly.
But they said that they believed in Moses and his five books in the Bible.
Then saying that they didn’t found any mention of resurrection there, they didn’t believe in the resurrection of body or soul or spirit.
They didn’t believe that there were rewards or penalties after death.
These Sadducees were like:
“When someone dies, he goes into history and exists anymore.”
What happened when they thought like that?
They must have served God to have a better life right now.
They wanted to enjoyed right now.
Then they wanted to stabilize social conditions and order.
They might not want a political trouble that the Messiah might bring it.
They were like that.
They loved the dominant Greek culture.
They accepted Hellenism and followed Hellenistic culture.
In the Bible, we read many prophets talked about resurrection.
The prophet Isaiah said: (Isaiah 26:19)
“Your dead will live, Lord.
Their bodies will rise.
Let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy.”
The prophet Ezekiel said: (Ezekiel 37:13)
“You, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them.”
But Sadducees would not agree with these these biblical writings of prophets.
They didn’t see them as God’s prophets.
As a result, they didn’t listen to God when God spoke through prophets.
So they might not have welcomed John the Baptist who was God's prophet.
To make their earthly life move smoothly according to their plan, they might have rejected God’s prophets, ignored them or even killed them.
Anyway one day some Sadducees came to ask Jesus a question:
“Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.
So, here is a situation.
There were seven brothers.
The first one married a woman and died childless.
So the second married her but died childless.
Like this, all the seven married and died, leaving no children.
Finally, the woman died too.
Now you see she was married to the seven.
Sp if there is the resurrection, whose wife will she be?
You see Moses’ teaching and the idea of resurrection does not go well with each other.”
By the way, what a sad and merciless and wicked story they made!
But at least they brought a honest question.
So, Jesus answers them.
Now we need to know the Hebrew verb: ייבם.
What’s that mean?
If a man dies and leaves a wife with no children, his brother must marry the widow.
That is doing ייבם.
Then the first son she bears will carry the name of the dead brother.
In this way, they wanted to continue their family genealogy as it was.
You know in ancient Korean, it was important to have at least one boy who could carry the last name of their family.
But they went even further than that.
But then it was also about 2000 years ago.
Today, I don’t think Jewish people think like that.
Anyway they wanted to talk about the lady with 7 husbands.
Jesus replied something like this:
“The people of our age marry and are given in marriage.
But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage.
They can no longer die, because they are like the angels.
They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.”
What does it mean?
When we rise again, when we are resurrected, we don't marry.
You are not going to be Mrs. So And So.
You will not be someone’s wife or hubby.
You will be like angels.
Do you think angels marry?
Like that, we will not marry.
We will be all children of God.
And because there is no marriage anymore, we will have a very different concept in terms of relationship in heaven.
There is no my family or your family.
We are one family of God.
For that kind of life, we will change including our body.
God created marriage to explain and help us understand the mystery between God and the church.
That is over when we experience the resurrection of life.
Now when we rise to eternal life, we will not die again.
In order to prove that, Jesus talked about what Moses wrote.
You know Sadducees believed in Moses and his 5 books.
So, Jesus talked about God’s appearance to Moses in the burning bush.
God said to Moses:
“I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
God is not saying:
“I have fun with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
They are dead and gone.
They are not existing anymore.
So I want to have fun with you.”
God is saying:
“Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is alive with me.
They exist with me.
You will also be with me like that.
But I want to save my people.
So while you are on earth, will you work with me to save them?”
So Jesus says:
“God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
For God all are alive.”
In God there is no dead person.
In God all is alive.
In God, Abraham is alive.
Isaac is alive.
Jacob is alive.
And all their friends are alive in God.
Moses served God and now lives with God.
As a proof, this Moses appeared when Jesus was transfigured in the mountain, remember?
At that time, Moses knew that Jesus needed to be crucified and rise again.
Moses knew about the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.
Now in John 5:28-29, Jesus says:
All who are in the tombs will hear the voice of Jesus and come out.
Those who have done good will come out to the resurrection of life.
Those who have done evil will come out to the resurrection of judgment.
So there are two different kinds of resurrection.
Some will rise again to be rewarded by God and to live forever.
But some will rise to be judged.
Those who live in their wicked way will rise again to be judged on the day of judgement.
So one day Jesus will return to judge and reward based on what they have believed and have done.
Jesus our Almighty God will judge rightly.
So everyone will see each consequence of good life and bad life.
Jesus will judge based on the words that he has already spoken in the gospels.
Based on these words Jesus will judge people.
Those who believe in Jesus and obey Jesus would rise to be rewarded.
When people have the words of Jesus in them, Jesus can live in them and work through them.
Then Jesus will raise them to be with God forever and live eternal life.
They will experience the resurrection of their body, when Jesus returned.
They will have their new glorious bodies and reign with God.
Each will have their unique resurrection body which lasts forever.
This transformed body may truly accommodate what their spirits really want.
So they may be able to pass through wall and door like the resurrected Jesus.
They may appear and disappear like the resurrected Jesus.
Jesus would guide them to enter into God’s new world that lasts forever.
This new world will wait for them.
In this new world there is not sin.
So there's no suffering.
There's no pain, or heartache.
There is only God’s freedom and God’s goodness.
There is God’s peace.
There is love.
There is joy.
There is God.
Every holy people dream of this world.
But we cannot even imagine what would be like.
But one day, our body will be transformed to live in this God’s new world.
When we believe in this, we may have all the right reasons to live holy.
We want to live the righteous life of Jesus.
We want to love God without fear.
By the grace of God, may we live in the way of Jesus.
May we receive a great reward from Jesus as Jesus rewards according to what we believe and do.
Even though we could not see that world now, we experience peace, freedom, joy, forgiveness, laugh, hope through Jesus who is there.
So we can guess what kind of joy and peace we may experience there with Jesus.
May our hope continually grow in this faith of Jesus.
Jesus, help me believe in the resurrection of life so that we may live with you forever.
Heal us and restore us to live the life you want us to live.
Help us to rise again in you.
Heal many people in your name so that they may be there where you are.
In Jesus name, we pray.
Sadducees claimed that they were sons of Abraham.
Did they receive the temple tax?
"Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
Abraham is alive and have looked the life of Jesus.