Page 13 - August 2023 - Truth & Tidings
P. 13

God’s power makes resurrection possible   terms? He was reminding Moses of His
        and God’s  promises make resurrection   covenant relationship with the patriarchs.
        essential.                            His relationship to them was not broken
          Their difficulty with God’s power is seen   and His promises to them remained intact
        in their presupposition: they assumed that   and in need of fulfilment. This was why
        resurrection life was no different than   the people of Israel had to be delivered out
        the present life. It seems they regarded   of Egypt. God had made promises that the
        the present visible world as the climax   descendants of the patriarchs would live
        of God’s creative ability. But the Lord as-  in the land of Canaan.
        sured them that this is not so: “For when   But God had done more than promise
        they shall rise from the dead, they neither   this to their offspring. In Genesis 13 God
        marry, nor are given in marriage; but are   told Abraham, “Lift up now thine eyes,
        as the angels which are in heaven” (v25).   and look from the place where thou art
        The Sadducees didn’t believe in angels,   northward, and southward, and eastward,
        but the Lord set them right. He reminded   and westward: For all the land which thou
        them that there are other created beings   seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed
        and these beings operate differently. The   for ever” (vv14-15). Abraham himself was
        angels in heaven don’t marry; they don’t   to inherit this land. This was confirmed
        have the same natural relationships as we   and re-emphasised to him (15:7; 17:8).
        do. And the God who raises people from   Abraham was, all his days, a stranger in
        the dead is not restricted to keeping them   the land of Canaan, but God promised that
        exactly as they were before death. God’s   both he and his seed would come into the
        power can and does transform people; it   full possession of this land. Similar prom-
        makes them different.                 ises were given to Isaac and Jacob (26:3;
          This undercuts the notion of absurdity.   28:4; 35:12). How could these promises be
        If the relationships of resurrected people   fulfilled as they surely must be? There was
        are not the same as they were before   only one means by which God’s words
        death, then the situation envisaged by   could be kept – the same means Abraham
        the Sadducees won’t happen. God’s power   anticipated when he “offered up Isaac”
        makes  resurrection  logically  possible. As   – God must be a God of resurrection (cf.
        Paul taught the Corinthians, “It is sown a   Heb 11:17-19).
        natural body; it is raised a spiritual body”   God’s promises to the patriarchs must
        (1Co 15:44).                          be fulfilled; His covenant promises are in-
          However, God’s promises do more than   violable. This demands their resurrection.
        this. “And as touching the dead, that they   God’s promises make resurrection essential.
        rise: have ye not read in the book of Mo-  For us this is surely a comfort. The
        ses …” (v26). The Lord continues on the   God of resurrection will likewise ensure
        theme of resurrection and refers back to   our resurrection, reunion and rapture. It
        the Sadducees’ own source of authority,   must happen for God’s promises to be kept
        the Pentateuch. God introduced Himself   and it will happen by the power of God.
        to Moses by saying, “I am … the God of   “Therefore … be ye stedfast, unmoveable,
        Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the   always abounding in the work of the Lord,
        God of Jacob” (cf. Exo 3:1-10).       forasmuch as ye know that your labour is
          Why did God speak of Himself in these   not in vain in the Lord” (1Co 15:58).

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