This World, That World (9)
Luke 20:34-38 (34) And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: (35) But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: (36) Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. (37) Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. (38) For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. The Sadducees denied “...that there is any resurrection...” (LUK 20:27). That they denied there was any resurrection did not mean there was no resurrection, only that they denied the Scriptures which declared it. Fools deny that God is (PSA 53:1) because they deny the concurring witness of nature (ROM 1:18-21) and the Scripture. Fools deny a past global flood for the same reasons and Peter describes this kind of denial as willing ignorance (2PE 3:5-6). Facts are not going to get in the way of someone who idolizes his own opinion or intellect. The denial of the resurrection was a problem that affected the churches in the days of the apostles. To the church at Corinth, Paul had to write, “...how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?” (1CO 15:12). Paul warned Timothy about Hymenaeus and Philetus, “Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some” (2TI 2:18). A careful consideration of Paul's argument to Corinth shows how central, pivotal and critical the doctrine of the resurrection is to the whole doctrine of Christ and the salvation of sinners (1CO 15:12-23). The hope of the believer is dashed if there is not a future resurrection of Christ's elect of which His own resurrection from the grave is the firstfruits. Following Paul's line of reasoning in 1CO 15:12-20, to deny the fact of bodily resurrection is to deny the bodily resurrection of Christ, which would condemn God as a liar for promising to not suffer His Holy One to see corruption (ACT 2:27) and make Jesus into a false prophet for declaring that He would only be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (MAT 12:40). But Christ did arise from the grave and by this reason more than any other proved Whom He was: “...declared to be the Son of God with power....by the resurrection from the dead” (ROM 1:4). It was that event which God had in mind when He had prophesied in David of Christ, saying, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee” (PSA 2:7 c/w ACT 13:32-34); He is the “...first begotten of the dead...” (REV 1:5) and because of that, the Ruler of all creation (1PE 3:21-22). And since all of His elect are His joint-heirs (ROM 8:17-19), they shall rise in like manner: “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (ROM 8:11). The resurrection of Jesus Christ is undoubtedly the single most important event in history and should be appropriately commemorated and honored. How sad that Christianity (and its attendant culture) has by and large chosen to honor it by making it into a calendric holyday, contrary to the very substance of the New Testament which put weak and beggarly elements like holydays to death (GAL 4:9-10; COL 2:14-17). How sad that the sacred chronology of His three day and three night entombment (MAT 12:40) has been taxed down to two nights and a day (Friday sundown through Sunday sunrise). How sad that men pretend to honor Him by imitating pagan sunrise services (EZE 8:15-16) even though Christ had already arisen well BEFORE sunrise (JOH 20:1). How sad that all manner of pagan customs have been adopted as part of a surreal comedy masquerading as Christianity: hot cross buns, ashes on foreheads, fish on Friday, etc. How sad that Jesus Christ has been transfigured to Peter Cottontail and His triumphant rising reduced to children in the form of an homage to ancient fertility emblems like rabbits and eggs. And it should be noted that every custom and emblem of idolatrous paganism that is adopted under a pretext of honoring Christ is like a wife showing her husband erotic pictures of her old lovers. How would a godly man feel if his bride would not make love to him without pictures and techniques of her former lovers? Christ's bride should be unto Him as a chaste virgin (2CO 11:2), not an adulteress who cannot relate to Him without fantasizing about other lovers. Of such folly, Paul said, “Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy?...” (1CO 10:22). Bible believers know that the Lord Jesus Christ requires worship that is “...in spirit and in truth” (JOH 4:23-24), not with the pollutions of idol gods or the traditions of men (MAR 7:6-13). They will have nothing to do with the lies, folly, and spiritual fornication that commonly is used to honor Christ's resurrection. Instead, they will be penitently baptized by burial in water to picture His death, burial and resurrection (ROM 6:3-5; COL 2:12; 1PE 3:21) which saved them, and identify with His resurrection in practice by abandoning former sin, rising to walk with Him in newness of life (ROM 6:4).