Knee Jerk Devotional: December 3, 2020

Luke 20:27-40


Some Sadducees, who deny that there’s a resurrection, came to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies leaving a widow but no children, the brother must marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first man married a woman and then died childless. The second and then the third brother married her. Eventually all seven married her, and they all died without leaving any children. Finally, the woman died too. In the resurrection, whose wife will she be? All seven were married to her.”

Jesus said to them, “People who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy to participate in that age, that is, in the age of the resurrection from the dead, won’t marry nor will they be given in marriage. They can no longer die, because they are like angels and are God’s children since they share in the resurrection. Even Moses demonstrated that the dead are raised—in the passage about the burning bush, when he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. He isn’t the God of the dead but of the living. To him they are all alive.”

Some of the legal experts responded, “Teacher, you have answered well.” No one dared to ask him anything else.

He isn’t the God of the dead but of the living.

I love this line. Jesus points these dudes to a transcendant reality that is beyond them. Did you catch the opening line? These guys who, “do not believe in the resurrection,” were asking about the resurrection. He knew they were haters. Jesus knew they were earnest but not sincere (check out yesterday’s devotional).

But, let’s get back to this line, “He isn’t the the God of the dead but of the living.”

Too many times we are caught up in the past. The ghosts of days gone by haunt us. We too often worry about and think about the things that we could have done, should have done, and wished we had done. Rob and Kristen Bell talk about how they want to make sure that their family doesn’t “should all over themselves.” Those moments of “shoulding” on ourselves typically are rooted in the past.

I read a great book a few weeks ago, I Don’t Want to Talk About It by Terrence Real, and the big idea is that men need to deal with the wounds of their past so that they don’t cause wounds in future generations. The hurts that we have from our past cause depression and anxiety in us. The depression leads to destructive behavior, both in ourselves and in others. If we don’t deal with the ghosts of the past they will haunt us and lead us into death.

The older I get, the more I realize that the grace and mercy of Christ creates for me a space to deal with the ghosts. I can enter into the pain and as I do, know that I’m loved and accepted in Christ. This Christ acceptance is rooted in relationship with a few other friends who share the same commitment to a radical minimum standard of gracious acceptance. I am learning that I can’t experience this apart from being in relationship with people in the real and the now.

God is the God of the living, not the dead.

For us to fully enter into life, a life that never ends, we must deal with the ghosts. In God, there is nothing that is dead. All is alive. This life comes from the reality that Christ defeated death in the cross and resurrection.

I guess the question remains, “Will we get busy living or get busy dying?”

What will you choose? Life or death?

Will you live in denial of the past or will you deal with it and therefore live?

Today, take a moment and identify those wounds of the past. What is holding on to you and not letting you free? What wounds do you need to deal with so that you can live?

God is the God of the living, not the dead.

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