Summary: Jesus is in a discussion with the Sadducees about the resurrection. Do you know how they got their name? They don’t beleive in the resurrection, that’s why they are "Sad...u...see!"
In Jesus Holy Name November 11, 2007
Text: Luke 20:27-38 Redeemer
“Is There a Resurrection?”
As we look at this event in the life of Jesus as recorded by Luke, I find that I really enjoy the dialogue. Why? Because it allows me to tell one of my favorite jokes. Yes, I know that some of you have heard it before, so allow me to repeat myself.
Luke tells us that Jesus was teaching in the temple courts. He is questioned by the chief priests, the elders of the law, both Pharisees and Sadducees. They questioned him about his religious authority, his biblical knowledge and theology. He was not educated in one of the prestigious theological schools in Jerusalem. Credentials from Nazareth? No degrees given there.
They questioned Jesus about money and taxes. Then the Sadduccess took their turn. Luke writes: “some of the Sadducees, who do not believe in the resurrection came with a question about marriage and life beyond the grave in heaven.”
Do you know how the Sadducees got their name? They do not believe in the resurrection….that’s why they are Sad…u..see!!
The Sadducees accepted only the first 5 books of the O.T. as God’s authentic word. They did not believe in life after death. They did not believe in angels. They said that life ended at death. They considered themselves hard core realist, who had to show this Jesus to be a sham. The Sadducees were comfortable in their day to day lives and had no concern with life after an earthly death.
Many Americans fall into the same category. They are so comfortable they forget about our ultimate destiny. The Apostle Paul confronted the same issue in the city of Athens. In Acts 16 Luke writes: Paul “reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and God fearing Greeks, and in the market place, day by day.” In his sermon he complements them on their openness, the fact that they have a “temple to the unknown god”. “I’m going to tell you about this “unknown god”. He created the world. He does not live in temples built by hands. … He has set a day when he will judge the world with justice.” He gave proof of this by raising Jesus from the dead.
“When they heard about the resurrection of the dead some of them sneered.” Some wanted to hear more. (Acts 17:16-23)
How about you? What do you think will happen?
“Death is public enemy number one. Buckle up. Sleep more. Exercise daily. Eat less fat. More protein. Less caffine. More vegetables. Ducking the shadow of death dominates our days. But no one ducks it forever. Upon hearing the Grim Reaper at your door, what price would you pay for an extension? (Come Thirsty- Max Lucado – p. 41)
Would you give your right hand? Aron Ralston did.
The twenty-seven-year old adventurer makes holiday treks out of climbing Rocky Mountain peaks. He’s summated forty-five of them, alone, all in winter, most after midnight. Life on the edge isn’t new to him. But life beneath an eight-hundred-pound- boulder? He was climbing off one when it shifted, trapping his right hand against the wall of a narrow crevice in a remote Utah canion.
He shoved the rock with his shoulder and tried to chisel it with his knife; he even attempted to hoist the thing with his climbing rope and pulley. The boulder didn’t budge. After five days, with food and water gone and having drifted back and forth between depression and visions of friends and margaritas, he made a decision, the thought of which mere mortals gulp. He resolved to sever his right hand.
“It occurred to me that if I could break my bones up at the wrist, where they were trapped, I could be freed.” He later said. “I was able to fist snap the radius and then within another few minutes snap the ulna.” Next, with a cheap multiuse tool, the kind that comes with a fifteen dollar flashlight, he began sawing into his own skin. The blade was so dull it “wouldn’t even cut my arm hairs,” but he persisted in the amputation. He later told reporters, “It took about an hour.”
Don’t even imagine the pops and snaps of those sixty minutes. I grow faint when the nurse takes ten seconds to draw my blood.
Ralston finally broke free of the boulder. He now faced the challenge of finding human beings. He crawled through a 150 foot ravine, rappelled (one handed) down a 60 foot wall, and then hiked six miles. Only then did he run into some Dutch tourists, who, no doubt, got more for their money than their travel agent ever promised. Downplaying his courage, Ralston explained the escape as a “mattr of pragmatics.”
Pragmatic indeed. On one hand, death. Without the other hand, life. When faced with the choice he chose life.