Lenten Devotion: Doubts About the Resurrection

…There came to Him some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection (Luke 20:27).

Read Luke 20:27-40

The scribes and Pharisees make up part of the Jewish high court; another group is the priests who are Sadducees. They accept only Moses’ writings from the Old Testament and reject the resurrection, angels or heaven. But that doesn’t stop them from posing a resurrection riddle to try to make Jesus look foolish.

They refer to a Mosaic law that preserved the line of an Israelite man who died childless. If the man’s brother married the widow, the first son born could be considered the dead man’s son. In their riddle a man died childless, each of his six brothers married the widow in turn, but each died childless. So whose wife will she be in the resurrection?

It seems a no-win question for Jesus. She couldn’t be the wife of all seven. But if God chooses one of the brothers to be her husband He would be wronging the others. Jesus easily smashes their house of cards. God’s gift of marriage holds only for this earthly period of time-not at the resurrection.

Now Jesus turns to their rejection of the resurrection. He even refers to Moses, the only authority they will accept from the Old Testament. When speaking to Moses out of the burning bush, God said, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” (see Exodus 3:6). If there was no life after death God would have had to say “I was their God,” not I am their God.” God’s “I AM” proves the human soul survives physical death and implies the resurrection when Christ returns.

Jesus has corrected the Sadducees so well even the hostile scribes commend Him.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we are often slow to believe things we cannot see. Remove my doubts and unbelief and give me firm confidence in the resurrection and eternal life You have promised to all believers. I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

*Thank you to Lutheran Hour Ministries for providing this devotion.

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