Monday, December 15, 2008

The Living Dead

“He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” (Mark 12:27a CSB)

The phrase “the living dead” might conjure up images of a horror movie for some, but for Christians it actually represents a genuine truth and a real encouragement. The statement Jesus made in the verse above is actually one of the greatest encouragements of all time.

The scribes and Sadducees decided to test Jesus with regard to the resurrection. They did not believe in the resurrection, so they challenged Jesus. Big mistake. Jesus pointed out that the Scripture, to which they were committed, quotes God as saying, “I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jesus.” Then came the zinger: “God is not God of the dead, but of the living.” Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had all died centuries earlier, but they also were all three very much alive and with the Lord.

Death is an event that we all face. It is “out there” at some point in our future, a time when this present form of life will cease. While this life may cease, life for those who die in the Lord Jesus will bloom into life in the presence of the Lord Himself as He welcomes us into His joy. By virtue of the forgiveness of sins and eternal life that we now have through the blood of Jesus’ cross and His resurrection from the dead, we will live forever. That’s essentially what Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die – ever. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25 CSB)

So, do you believe this? It is the promise of God. And it is one of the greatest encouragements we can know.

Lord, We thank You for the hope You give us, for the eternal life that is now ours because of our faith relationship with You. Help us thus to live now the life of joy that is ours for all eternity. Amen.

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