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April 1, 2020 Lectionary Reading - Pastor Scott Thornton

Lectionary reading for Wednesday, April 1, 2020: Psalm 143; Jeremiah 32:1-9, 36-41; Matthew 22:23-33


"That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question. [24] "Teacher," they said, "Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him. [25] Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. [26] The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. [27] Finally, the woman died. [28] Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?" [29] Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. [30] At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. [31] But about the resurrection of the dead--have you not read what God said to you, [32] 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob' ? He is not the God of the dead but of the living." [33] When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching." Matthew 22:23-33 (NIV)


Just what was it specifically about Scriptures and the power of God that the Sadducees were in error of? The very thing that they said there was no such thing - the resurrection. The Scriptures clearly refer to the resurrection. The books of the Bible are not in chronological order and most Biblical scholars believe that the book of Job is the oldest written book of the Bible. In that book, Job refers to his belief in the resurrection; "And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; [27] I myself will see him with my own eyes--I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" Job 19:26-27 (NIV)


When God commanded Abraham to "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, (Can you hear John 3:16 in this verse? The very thing that God prevented Abraham to do, the sacrifice of his son, God did by sending His Son to be the sacrifice for the sins of the world.) and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." Genesis 22:2 (NIV)


Before God stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son, his only son, listen to the faith in the resurrection as Abraham proclaimed to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you." Genesis 22:5 (NIV)


Not only did the Scriptures clearly teach about the resurrection before these Sadducees came to test Jesus, but death does not have the final word with God. The very God who made us will also resurrect us back to life. Those who have gone on before us are not dead, but alive and well. God is not the God of the dead, but the God of living. Right before Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead He proclaimed to Lararus’ sister, Martha, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; [26] and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25-26 (NIV)


Let us not be ignorant of the Scriptures or the power of God. In this stressful time and in the days and years ahead let us hold firmly to the faith and hope of the resurrection so that we can say to Jesus, “Yes, I do believe this.”


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