When people are married at some point in the relationship they often give or exchange eternity rings. This is often on the first anniversary of the marriage. I am certain this is a process developed and marketed by the jewellery industry to increase sales, because it certainly has no basis in scripture. In this section of Luke we find the Lord explaining exactly this issue, and Paul also speaks of marriage as an example to teach us one of the key underlying principles of the New Covenant.
You Know Neither the Scriptures…
The Sadducees came to Jesus to test him. They spoke of a woman who had had seven successive brothers as husband, but with no children. Their question was, “In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife.” (Verse 33)
Note then how Jesus answered them. In other versions of this event he said, “You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29) He upbraids them for their lack of knowledge of the scripture and their failure to understand what it says. These men were teachers of Israel and yet they did not know what the word said. So then how could they adequately and accurately train others?
We need to take warning from this and to study the word of God so that firstly we know the truth and secondly we can explain it to other in the light of the truth.
Marriage in Heaven
Then Jesus goes on to explain to them why they were wrong and how marriage works. He said, “…those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die any more.” (Verse 35-36)
Marriage is of this age. When a person marries they do so only for this lifetime. When either party to the marriage dies, the marriage ceases to exist and the living party has the right to remarry if they choose, without committing the sin of adultery.
There is no marriage in heaven as Jesus shows, because they cannot die. He goes on in verse 36 to say, “…they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” When God’s kingdom is established after all has been accomplished, those who are worthy to receive eternal life will be equal to angels. Marriage is a thing of this lifetime and a part of the law, but in that day it will cease to exist for the law will be longer.
There will be no need for the law as we know it for the people will be perfect and will walk in the truth. The law is only required for those who desire to do wrong, but when all people choose to do right, there ceases any need for the law.
Freedom from Law.
Which brings me to the example of marriage as Paul explained it in Romans 7. Just as a person is set free from the law of marriage when their partner dies, we too have been set free from the Old Testament law through the death of Christ. When we are baptised we take on his death as if it were our own and we die to the law through his body.
Paul showed us that the law is only binding on a person while they are alive and when they die they are no longer under the law. (Romans 7:1) So if we take on the death of Christ through baptism, for that is what we are doing, we die to the law. As Paul said, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” (Romans 6:3)
This is how He was able to take away the law in the New Covenant, but also say, “For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:18) The Old Testament law is still fully in force and effect for those who have not yet “died” in the waters of baptism. Those who have been baptised and understand what this means though are set free from the law through the body of Jesus Christ so as to be born again as new creations, not under sin, not under law but under the grace of God.
Till Death Us Do Part
It is by this death that we are separated from sin and the law. It is through the death of Christ that we take upon us in baptism that we truly are set free in Christ. It is this scenario that Jesus was speaking of when he said, “…you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:32) In that section of John 8 he continues on to say, “Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin,” and, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” (verse 34 & 36)
This death has parted us from sin and the law so that we can begin a new “marriage,” not to the old ways of sin, but married to Christ in the new life of His New Covenant.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng www.sxc.hu/ taken by Leo Cumings)