Luke 20:27-38 (NKJV)
27 Then some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is a resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, 28 saying: “Teacher, Moses wrote to us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife, and he dies without children, his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. And the first took a wife, and died without children. 30 And the second took her as wife, and he died childless. 31 Then the third took her, and in like manner the seven also; and they left no children, and died. 32 Last of all the woman died also. 33 Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife does she become? For all seven had her as wife.”
34 Jesus answered and said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; 36 nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. 37 But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 38 For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.”
It is nearly irresistible not to point out that the Sadducees were sad (you see) because they did not believe in the resurrection. It is terribly sad because, as St. Paul says in I Cor 15:13-19, “if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty, and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” Denial of the resurrection is devastatingly sad because it is the denial of eternal life, a denial which brings absolutely no hope at all.
The Sadducees also did not know that in the resurrection our earthly relationships are not only not needed but will be unknown. In the resurrection there is no more marriage and, most importantly, no more death, because death is the result of sin and there is no sin in heaven.
You and I have a most gracious God who has called us to faith through the preaching of His Word, for “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom 10:17). Christ has risen from the grave to give you the certainty that you also will be raised on the Last Day to be with Him forever. Believe that by the faith that God has given you, and you also will enjoy an eternal existence in the perfect and sinless presence of Christ.
Let us pray: O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy, be gracious to all who have gone astray from Your ways and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of Your Word; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.