Summary: Part II in a series of "Dumb Questions" Jesus’ opponents asked in Matt 22. Dumb not becuase of the information, but becuase they revealed the false assumptions about Jesus in the questioner’s minds...
Title: Resurrection in the Present Tense
FCF: The power of the Resurrection, revealed b the Scripture, is power for living now.
I. Intro: What question would you ask Jesus?
a. My name is a question mark (Mi – ca – el)
b. Sitting in the Starbucks talking with Jesus
c. (May want to address, “why no marriage?”
i. Simple answers: We’re the Bride of Christ. I love my wife, she is the most beautiful woman I know. But even she knows she’ll be #2. I know, when she gets to heaven and sees Jesus, she’s going to look back at me for a second and think “I settled for that?”
ii. But – the focus of Jesus answer has very little to do with the answer that the Sadducees thought they wanted.)
II. Living as if there is No Resurrection
a. The Characteristics of the Sadducees
i. Temple, Tradition, Torah
b. The Tradition of the Sadducees
i. Not dissing the tradition here!
c. The Trap of the Sadducees
i. They had gotten so “sophisticated” about their “religion” that they thought they were the ones in control. Our tradition indicates that there was one angel who thought he was sufficiently sophisticated and in control that he knew better than God what to do. You know what happened to him also.
ii. They had no joy! A verse that I often like to quote – “If there is no resurrection, we above all men should be most pitied. We should eat, drink, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”
d. The Fate of the Sadducees
i. They died out when their Temple did – but their philosophy lives on today, I fear.
III. Living as if there is Only the Resurrection
a. Only 3 chapters in 1200 deal with Heaven – most of it is living here!
b. One of my favorite books is The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis.
i. He suggests that heaven isn’t anything like we imagined. Hell is just too small and heaven too great for us to bear – we have to become toughened up to stand even near the presence of God.
ii. Its all the extension of our choices down here
iii. It reinforces the fact that God is God of all. He is God our rising up and our sitting down. When we’re here in Church, when we are eating with our friends. He’s the God who knows when we’re sittin’ on the toilet.
c. Notice Jesus answer – I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. He is a living God! He is the God who is the father of the people, but he’s also the God of Laughter. He’s the God of the Schemer – the one whose very name means he struggles with God. He is God to all of them, and he is God to all of them right now.
d. So, what questions would you ask Jesus?
i. Simpsons bit “What if you’re really good but you get into a bad fight and they cut your arm so that you get gangrene and have to have it amputated? Will it be waiting for you in heaven?” (And the exasperated Sunday School Teacher answers “For last time Bart, yes!”)
ii. So many people want to ask me “What is heaven like?” They know things like “It’s so restful and peaceful – you have wings, a cloud and do nothing all day.” Or, the only thing we do in heaven is play harps. There is no sadness. They even know some of the history - “Lucifer was the most beautiful of the angels, but was cast out of heaven.” Well, I often have to tell them, frankly those things aren’t in the Bible. It is true there will be no more tears in heaven, but the vast majority of what we “know” about heaven doesn’t come from the Bible. The story of Lucifier being cast out of heaven, for instance – that comes from John Milton Paradise Lost. The idea that we become angels and play harps all day – that’s Bugs Bunny.
iii. Joel’s question: What problem is Christianity trying to address? I gave him a long, convoluted answer, but a friend of mine – Jeff Willetts, answered it in one word – Sin.
IV. Living Because of the Resurrection
a. I could write a book about what it means to live because of the resurrection. Well, actually, I don’t have to, because God already did.
b. But, I want to tell you a story (Ernest Gordon) about what it means. In 1942, the same year Westover Baptist was being formed…
a. I asked earlier what question you want to ask Jesus. One of the best I have ever heard is “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”