Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.
Heaven Will be Different
Tell a little girl that heaven is the happiest place to be, and then ask her to describe what she thinks it will be like. She may compare it to the happiest things she knows: free candy and no cavities, ice cream any time you want it, new clothes to wear every day. Heaven is indeed the happiest of all places, but there is nothing on earth that can compare. As different as God is from us, that’s how different heaven is from earth.
For some, this is a real sticking point. In today’s reading, some Sadducees came to Jesus with a question. The Sadducees believed only in the things they could see and touch, and so they didn’t believe in angels, or heaven, or the resurrection from the dead. Their question was a trick question, intended to trip Jesus up over his own words. In effect they asked: if a woman was married more than one time in this life, to whom will she be married in heaven? For the Sadducees, heaven seemed so strange and different, so outside their realm of experience, that it couldn’t be real.
Sadly, we all struggle with a similar problem in our relationship with God. When we compare the words of the Bible to the words of this world, we are struck by how different the Bible is. God has high expectations for how we live, but we’re just trying to get by. God has a plan to save us, but we tend not to think we even need saving. Because God’s Word is so different, we find ourselves wanting to set it aside. Even when we know God’s Word is good for us, we neglect it. And so we become living proof of another key difference between us and God. He is holy, and we are sinners.
The differences between us and God lead us to run from him, but they don’t lead him to run from us. Just the opposite: God’s Son Jesus became one of us. He took the guilt of all sins onto himself, and he paid for them with his own blood, and why? He did it so that he could be with us, and we could be with him, now and forever.
Jesus didn’t apologize to the Sadducees for how different heaven is from earth. In fact he described it in terms more foreign to them than they had imagined. In heaven, like angels, we will never die, and there will be no marriage.
As believers living in this world of pain and sorrow, we are happy to hear that heaven will be different. In fact, the best part about heaven is the thing that makes it the most different of all. In heaven, we will get to see God face to face, serving him and one another in sinless joy forever.
Dear Lord, forgive my sinful neglect of you. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to take my sin away. Help me remember the glorious future you have in store for me and all who believe in you. Amen.
This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.
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