Saturday, September 18, 2010

God of the Living, Not of the Dead

“Now about the dead—have you not read in the book of Moses, in the account of the bush, how God said to him, ‘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.”

~Mark 12:26-27a (NIV).

This is a remarkable chestnut of theology and the Sadducees got roundly more than they bargained for as they pressed Jesus with a rather confused scenario.

God – Father of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

Can we but imagine the spiritual experience of these three patriarchs living on? If they were still relevantly alive somehow spiritually when Moses had his burning bush experience with Yahweh they must certainly be relevantly alive spiritually today.

Indeed, it can be seen that if we too are alive—mere mortals that we are; nothing less or nothing more than Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; at least in that way—we too are alive in a way that we commune with God (and indeed all of us do, whether we like it or not) and if so now, forever it can and will be.

And, still, many will choose now—whilst they’re physically alive—that they do not wish to further commune with God as this life ends. They are going to be granted their wish.

Eternal Life – Now and To Come

The existence of eternal life is something that doesn’t fit neatly into human understanding, but we might begin to acknowledge the ‘now’ and ‘not yet’ elements of eternal life.

Communion with God is eternal life.

The ‘now’ component of the above concept is the experience and enjoyment of God in the midst of this physical life—the better, and indeed best, way to live.

The ‘not yet’ component of the above concept is an awesome spiritual reality consistent in transformation—a thing we really don’t have much of a clue about.

As Jesus raised the dead in his life, and as we’re raised from the dead in our lives, God’s business is raising people to life... God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

General Reference: R. Alan Cole, The Gospel According to Mark – An Introduction and Commentary (Revised Ed.) – Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Leicester, England: InterVarsity Press, 1989), pp. 265-66.

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