Today’s Bible reading is Genesis 47 and Luke 20.
In Luke 20, the authority and wisdom of Jesus were challenged multiple times. In one instance,
There came to him some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and died without children. And the second and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. Afterward the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife.” (Luke 20:27-33)
Carefully read Jesus’ response.
“The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.” Then some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well.” For they no longer dared to ask him any question. (Luke 20:34-40)
God of the living, what an amazing thought! The dead have not ceased to exist; our God is “God of the living.” The dead will be raised, “for all live to him.”
On Monday, I attended the funeral of a 95-year-old woman. The final Scripture read at the cemetery was Psalm 23. “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want … Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” I watched as three generations mourned the passing of a mother, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother. They mourned, full of hope. How? The Lord–God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob–is not God of the dead, but of the living.
This earth is the land of the dying. Jesus has shown us the God of the living. His authority and the truth of his teaching has been verified by an empty tomb. All will live to him, but each one must personally decide whether they will live for him while they briefly inhabit the land of the dying.