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Friday, March 10, 2006 

Resurrection & Marriage: Part 2

The second point that I wish to make is that when we ask these kinds of questions (What of babies who have died or those who were eunuchs from their mother's womb (19:12), or those who're too hideously disfigured?) we may be participating in a similar error of that of the Sadducees. Jesus pointed out that their mistake was in positing the future age as being fully similar to the present age. Though there is to be some continuity, there is going to be significant discointinuity between the ages as well. One of these, as we have seen, being the nullification of marriage.

We are also, perhaps, making the other mistake of the Sadducees in that we are at fault for not knowing "neither the power of God nor the scriptures." If we are to believe that God is a just god and that his power is far beyond anything we could imagine, then we must believe that those who were not able to marry in this life, or babies who have died, or eunuchs, or those hideously disfigured will have a rich inheiritance at the consummation of the kingdom of God.

On a personal note, Eric, this is why belief in a future resurrection of the dead is so appealing to me (and why it was appealing to those who first formulated it). It affirms that God really still cares about his creation, about our bodies, such that he will redeem and transform those bodies. Yes, if we truly believe in the power of God, then he can take those babies that died prematurely in this life and transform their dead bodies into ones that will never taste death. He can take those who were hideously disfigured in this life and transform them into something glorious and he can transform those bodies that could not walk in this age into ones that will be able to run by leaps and bounds. God cares about your body and wants to redeem it. This is what is so important in the belief in a future resurrection of the dead. Eternity that is lived out in an embodied existence is much more appealing than one lived out with some kind of disembodied soul. The latter notion would seem to imply that God doesn't really care for his creation (cf Rom 8:8ff).

And as for those who do not get to experience the intimacy that only married people can share in this life, we can only hope that in the resurrection, when we finally see God in his fullness in Jesus Christ it will be something that not even marriage can compare to. And if this is indeed the case, that we will experience an intimacy with God far surpassing anything marriage could ever provide us here in this age, then marriage at the resurrection would simply be superfulous.

Chris,

I thank you for your comments and share the same hope that you do.

God bless.

Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings. Grace and peace to you, Eric.

It's interesting that you note that for the Jew, the purpose of marriage was procreation. If at the resurrection people are immortal like angels, then they don't have to reproduce anymore. This introduces the idea that reproduction was introduced precisely because we die, but according to Genesis (I don't know how the Jews viewed Gen 1-3) procreation was established before death was introduced, and Adam was (presumably) immortal then. Is there an inconsistency here?

Hi Chris, question.. how about the Adam and Eve model or pattern? Before the Fall in the Garden, God made Adam a helpmate comparible to himself, and said to them 'be fruitful and multiply',fill the earth and subdue it. Adam also got dominion of the earth. In verse 18 of gen 2....And the Lord God said, itis not good for man to be alone, I will make him a helpmate comparible to himself. In verse 24... Therefore a man will leave father and mother and beocme one flesh. And they were both nakes but not ashamed re...Gen 2 and 3. With the Fall in the Garden, came the submission to hubby, and pain in childbirth. Adam also now had to toil by the sweat of his brow for food,and the death penalty. But in the beginning, they were married by God. Now the next genesis of the 'New Heavens and the New Earth' speaks of God coming to earth, after Jesus returns the Kingdom back to His Father in Heaven. So speaking here of revelations. Jesus's wife is the New Jerusalem outta Heaven, so God's kingdom Jesus is married to. But this pattern is made before the Fall, a hint of Heaven by chance?

In 5 passages I read that God calls Israel His wife. Yes , she does play the harlot tho! On mount sinai, Israel recieved the wedding covanent of God thru the Torah/Commandments of God. In jewish tradition,a contract is given, then the wedding cup is drunken of by the two, in approval of the agreement. There is a dowry-the bride's price, the wedding under the canopy/covering, then the chuppah-where her blood is inspected for her purity. But anyways....

Hosea 2:14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the WILDERNESS, and speak comfort to her. 15 I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. 16 And it shall be, in that day, says the LORD, that you will call Me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer call Me ‘My Master,’17 For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, and they shall be remembered by their name no more. 18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, with the birds of the air, and with the creeping things of the ground. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, to make them lie down safely. 19 I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in loving kindness and mercy; 20 I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the LORD.”
.....
Jeremiah 3:10-14 "And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but in pretense," says the LORD. 11 Then the LORD said to me, "Backsliding Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. 12 "Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say: ‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the LORD; ‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you. For I am merciful,’ says the LORD; ‘I will not remain angry forever….14 Return, O backsliding children," says the LORD; "for I am MARRIED to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion”.
........

Jeremiah 31:1-30 "At the same time, says the Lord, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people. 2 Thus says the Lord: The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness - Israel, when I went to give him rest. 3 The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you. 4 Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel!

Jeremiah 31:31-40 "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah (Hint: Are the Jews Christian yet?) - 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was 'a husband to them', says the Lord.
........

Isaiah 54

4 “ Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed;
Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame;
For you will forget the shame of your youth,
And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.
5 For your Maker is your husband,
The LORD of hosts is His name;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;
He is called the God of the whole earth.
....

Isaiah 62

3 You shall also be a crown of glory
In the hand of the LORD,
And a royal diadem
In the hand of your God.
4 You shall no longer be termed Forsaken,
Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate;
But you shall be called Hephzibah/My delight is in her and your land Beulah/married
For the LORD delights in you,
And your land shall be married.
..............

So how does one reconcile this dilemna? I am divorced for like eons now and also have spina bifida,so hi Eric! Abusive hubby, there were adultery on his part, long story, won't go there. So what of us poor folks who have never experienced being loved or have a whole lot of it to give? How does God fill the gap, or how is He able to touch a wounded heart? Marriage is more than procreation, but intimacy and union/becoming one. Procreation is the end result of love between God and two people. Marriage is wrapped in the mantle of love. So love and shalom/profound peace are God's signature of a God given marriage. The stuff some of us can only dream of, never having experienced such divine bliss!

I always wondered what Jesus was really driving at on that discourse of dialogue. He was speaking to Sadducees who were placing a trap for him. The Sadducees do not even believe in a resurrection! The question was a trap. Jewish tradition speaks ,when one is divorced or one spouse dies, they become the wife of the next. The woman had 7 hubbies, they would know by jewish law, she is the wife of the last in the natural sense,and marriage is till death, or divorce. For a man who's wife or vice versa dies, they can remarry, there is no sin here. So what was Jesus the Messiah really getting at? To this I am still perplexed. For the pattern of the OT, and even the NT speaks otherwise. Here's a ponder, what if we were married from the foundation of the world? Then there is no need to marriage or be married! What if genesis is foreshadow and type? Patterns do exist thru out all of the scriptures,as do themes. And is also speaks of the Kingdom of God as everlasting, and of it's increase there is no end. How does one reconcile that issue also? This all plays into the marriage and procreation concept.
And one final thought, even the fallen angels who left their heavenly estate, took beautiful human wives and birthed offspring, the men of reknown. Gen 6. So angels can procreate!

Shalom,
crimsonwarrior

A positive (though speculative) case can be made that male-female relationships similar to the marriage relationship can continue between the redeemed into the next life. This may then also imply a romantic, physical or even sexual aspect in such a relationship. If you're interested to know more, an in-depth study of this topic (including philosophical issues, the marriage pericope of Mt 22, and Old Testament verses) is conducted on the rezfamilies website - google 'rezfamilies'or go to
http://sites.google.com/site/rezfamilies/.

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