I Believe in the Resurrection of the Body
Translated by Allan Liang
Today the section of Scripture we learn about is a passage concerning the dialogue between Jesus and the Sadducees, and using this opportunity, let us first see what kind of people the Sadducees were. They received good education, excelled at sophistry, had great influence and were very wealthy. They were known as the “conservatives” among the Jews and their worldly minds allowed them to cooperate well with the Romans which allowed them to occupy a class of special authority. Using today’s words, they could be regarded as “rich, powerful and famous”. However, they did not believe in spiritual beings, did not believe in eternal life and did not believe in the resurrection. They were familiar with the Torah, and self-proclaimed to believe the law, and thus, used the Levirate marriage found in Deuteronomy (also sometimes called Yibbum, Deuteronomy 25:5-6) to question Jesus, and sought to use this question to prove the “absurdity” of the resurrection. The Lord Jesus answered very directly and clearly: You “do not know the Scriptures or the power of God”, “You are badly mistaken!” From today’s Scripture we understand that the resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the demonstration of his power, and the assurance of the salvation we have received from him. Only in believing in the resurrection can we believe in the redemptive power of Christ’s death on the cross; not believing in the resurrection means that we cannot believe in salvation, cannot believe in eternal life, and cannot believe in this Savior, the Lord Jesus. “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” (1 Corinthians 15:14) Why were the Sadducees wrong? Where did their fault lie? According to their subjective understandings, they thought that the resurrection was the continuation of their earthly lives, the continuation of their wealth and glories, the promise of gaining much without any loss - they were truly totally wrong. The resurrection is a heavenly promise of a completely new life that will never see decay but will endure forever. The true resurrection is the resurrection of faith in Christ Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” (John 11:25) The Sadducees, by refusing to believe in the Lord Jesus, in this life share no connection to the death of Jesus, and by not believing in the redemption accomplished by Christ on the cross, have no part in the resurrection. Naturally, they did not understand the resurrection, for the resurrection is meaningless to those who are spiritually dead. For God is the God of the living and not the God of the dead (12:27). In one sentence: all who are not reborn in Christ the Lord have no part in the resurrection. To believe in the resurrection of the body requires the understanding of resurrection in heaven. The error committed by the Sadducees was the using of earthly lives to imagine what eternal life in heaven would be. Certain aboriginal peoples place great value on hunting, and imagine heaven to be a joyful hunting ground. The vikings of northern Europe were ferocious warriors, and considered the paradise to come, a great battlefield where they would fight for victory. Do we think that this life has regrets and joys, and that heaven is a place where merely our regrets are fixed and our joys sustained for eternity? Yet, if we love this world, we will not understand how the door to eternity opens. The Lord has told us that this earth and all that is in it will pass away, but he has given us a life that will never see corruption, and through his body that died and was raised to life, the path leading to heaven was paved for us, and only through repentance and complete faith in him can anyone receive eternal life. “I believe in the resurrection of the body” is the assurance and proclamation of our faith. Please meditate and pray: The Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ whom I have believed in, what is the meaning of his resurrection for we who are Christians? How can I live out a completely new life that is connected to the resurrection of my Lord, Jesus Christ?