Summary: In this passage Jesus reveals to us some insight about the Resurrected Life and Heaven - 1. Resurrected Life is not like our earthly life 2. Angels so exist 3. Resurrection is real and therefore there will be a time of reward or punishment
Title: Afterlife, Sex and Resurrection
Theme: Resurrection Life
Proposition: Jesus reveals to us some insight about the Resurrected Life and Heaven - 1. Resurrected Life is not like our earthly life 2. Angels exist 3. Resurrection is real
Grace and peace from God Our Father and from Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world!
The other day I was watching a college football game. It was between the University of Clemson and North Carolina State. It turned out to be a fantastic game full of all kinds of drama. With only a few seconds to go North Carolina State was in position to win the game with a field goal. Just before the ball was snapped the head coach of Clemson called a quick time out. He wanted to rattle the place kicker. He had already missed a couple of field goals and I'm sure Clemson's coach thought if the young man was interrupted that perhaps some doubt and fear would overcome him and he would miss again. Well, Clemson's strategy worked perfectly. The young man tried his best but he was off by a couple of feet and the game went into overtime where Clemson went on to win the game.
I was amazed at the precise timing of Clemson's time out. It was faultless. It was called with just enough time to get into the young man's mind and create some doubt in his ability to kick the field goal. It was done just at the right time to rattle him. And it worked.
Our passage in Luke this morning deals with a time in Jesus' life that the same type of devilish strategy was being attempted on Jesus. It's the Wednesday of Passion Week. Jesus is already in Jerusalem. The Triumphal Entry has taken place, Jesus has already cleansed the Temple and now is fielding some questions by those that have surrounded him. The chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders have already questioned him on his authority. Who gave him the right to preach about God? Who gave Jesus the authority to go out and share his message?
Jesus answers their questions and then shares the Parable of Tenants. Afterwards some spies from the Jewish leadership group try to trip Jesus up with a rather sticky political question. They want to get Jesus in trouble with Roman government. Jesus gives them his famous statement of "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." Astonished by his answer the spies are rendered speechless. Jesus has faced everyone's questions so far and has come out ahead.
It's at this point we are at our passage. Jesus has handled a theological question and a political question. Now, it's the Sadducees turn. They ask Jesus what they think is a highly intelligent theological question with eschatological undertones. It's not so much their question as it is their strategy that we must keep in mind. In less than 48 hours Jesus will be hanging on the cross taking his last few mortal breaths. He will be facing firsthand all three questions that have been asked of him. They are similar to the temptations Jesus faced in the Wilderness1.
This morning let's spend some time looking at the 3rd question - the one asked by the Sadducees. Not the question concerning marriage but the question underlining it concerning whether or not there is a Resurrection. Whether or not there is a time of everlasting accountability that results in either reward or punishment.
All throughout his ministry one of Jesus' main themes had been his teaching concerning the Resurrection. (Matthew 12:39-40, 16:27; 27; 62-64, Mark 8:31; 14:58, Luke 9:22; John 2:18-22; John 10:17-18). Jesus was constantly reminding his disciples what was going to happen to him, "The son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again."
The belief in Resurrection would turn out to be the singular event that would transform heaven and earth. Christianity is utter foolishness and nonsense void of the Resurrection. Without the Resurrection, Jesus, his life, his ministry are insightful but in the long scheme of things they are ultimately meaningless. Paul tells us in Romans 1:1-4
1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life[a] was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power[b] by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. (NIV)