The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ
I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
Way back in Exodus 3 God appeared unto Moses in the form of a burning bush. It was then that God said that which Jesus quotes in Matthew 22:32. In Exodus 3:6 God said…I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. In Matthew 22, over 1,500 years later Jesus quotes that passage to the Sadducees. He is refuting their misunderstanding of the resurrection, for the Sadducees believed not in life after death. Jesus states clearly that God is not a God of the dead, but rather a God of the living. He is saying that, after so many hundreds of years, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were still alive and that God, the Father, was still their God.
Therein, the Lord is proving to these Sadducees the power of God. Which was one of their two errors, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. “Well and good, preacher, but what does this mean to us today?” It means for one thing that those who die in the Lord are not dead in that they don’t live. They live. They are alive today. For their God is the God of the living. Another thing it means is that God the Father has power over life and death. It also means that God is alive now, He was alive when those patriarchs lived, and He will be alive forever more. It means that there is a life after death. It means that death for the believer is not really death but a transfer from this physical realm into the eternal spiritual one. It means much.
Notice that Jesus added the last phrase of today’s verse. God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. That phrase was not in Exodus 3, Jesus drew the proper conclusion of God’s statement to Moses. For true it is… God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Let it be said a thousand times over… God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. The word “living” is not qualified. Meaning it is not narrowed into one realm or the other. “Living” means things that are alive, now, and in forever. If you are alive on earth part of the family of God through faith, He is your living God. When you die, or go to sleep as it is said about the children of God, He is your living God. Whether in this life or the next, He is your God, or can be.
Make no doubt, be confident of that which Paul was confident: We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. II Corinthians 5:8 In this life or the next, God will still be God, and if you are His you will still be His, forever!
Until next time,
William T. Howe, Ph.D.