Sermon 10 November 2019

We see in the reading today that even in Jesus’ time there was no decisive understanding of the afterlife. One group believed in the resurrection, the others believed it was a soul only. These are the two main ideas, but there may have been other thoughts. The Sadducees knew Jesus’ beliefs and sought to discredit him by bringing up an issue they thought he was not prepared for.

I am sure they were surprised to hear Jesus’ take on the story. They looked at a social act and projected it on to a spiritual understanding. That is where their challenge fails. To project the human thoughts and ways on to heaven doesn’t always work. Marriage is a construct for human beings, their physical make up and God’s need for procreation. Jesus points out that in God’s Kingdom relationships are different. The main reason for this difference is that there is no need for procreation in heaven. Birth in heaven is death.

Jesus uses this conversation to look at another perspective of the afterlife. The people talked about the people who died in the past, but Moses talked about the dead as if they were still alive.

We think this reading is about how Jesus was challenged and overcame, but it is also about sharing with us an understanding of life in God’s Kingdom, so that the readers may understand and believe in Jesus.

If there is no resurrection what is the point of our worship? It is so important that we remember that those who have died here are not dead to God and that God is not just about those who have died here.

Death is not the end of life, and death is not the beginning of God’s kingdom with us. We live in the triumphant hope of life in and with Christ now and forever.