|Theme:||Is there a resurrection? What will heaven be like? Proper 27 (32) Year C|
|Object:||A picture of a zebra|
|Scripture:||"And they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God's children, since they are children of the resurrection." Luke 20:36 (NIV)|
One of the most interesting animals on earth is the zebra. The zebra's natural home is in the grasslands and semi-deserts of eastern and southern Africa. Most of you have seen a zebra if only in a zoo. Here are some interesting facts about the zebra.
I have a question for you. Are zebras white with black stripes, or are they black with white stripes? Some people say that since they have a white belly, they are white with black stripes. Others argue that if you shave all their hair off they have black skin, so they are black with white stripes. This has been a question that has been debated for hundreds of years. From what I have read, most scientists today believe that they are black with white stripes, but some people would still like to argue about it. To be honest, I'm not sure about it myself.
In Jesus' day there were people that liked to argue and discuss difficult questions. One such group was the Sadducees — religious leaders who did not believe in the resurrection. One day a group of Sadducees came to Jesus and asked him a question in an attempt to trick him into agreeing with them that there was no resurrection. They asked him to answer this question: “The law of Moses says that if a man dies, leaving a wife but no children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name. Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children. So the second brother married the widow, but he also died. Then the third brother married her. This continued until all seven brothers had married the same woman. Finally, the woman also died. So tell us, whose wife will she be after the resurrection since all seven were married to her!”
My, that is a hard question, isn't it? Well, it didn't stump Jesus!
Jesus answered, "Marriage is for people here on earth. But in the age to come, those who are raised from the dead will not marry or be married. Not only that, but they will never die again. They will live forever as the children of God."
Jesus went on to say, "Even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord 'the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' He is not the God of the dead, he is the God of the living."
After Jesus answered them so wisely, no one else dared to ask him any questions.
Now, you and I know that the Bible promises us that if we love Jesus and trust in him, we will live forever in heaven with him. Isn't it sad that some people do not believe there is a a resurrection and eternal life in heaven?
Dear Father, we are happy today that there is a resurrection and you have promised us eternal life in heaven. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.
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