LXVII. Living to God.

LUKE xx. 38. “For He is not
a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto Him.”
THE Sadducees, the free-thinkers of the day, had presented
to Christ a supposititious case, which they thought incom-
patible with the doctrine of the resurrection—the case of a
woman who had seven husbands, “Whose wife should she
be of the seven? “Our Lord’s first refutation lay in their
ignorance of the heavenly nature. He affirms “they do not
marry, but are the children of God, being children of the
resurrection.” Next Christ passes to a positive refutation
which He draws from an unlooked-for part of the Old
Testament, from the Pentateuch, which the Sadducees
held to be alone inspired. The force of the argument lies in
the use of the present tense, “I am the God “—not I was
the God—”of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.”
I. How does Christ’s quotation, that “God is the God of
Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob “show
that their bodies will rise again? Though the reasoning of
Christ demonstrates that they live, yet there has been no
direct proof of the resumption of the body.
Christ says, I take your own definition of the terms to
live and die; to live is for body and soul to hold together,
to die is for body and soul to be separated. But to God
the man does live, “For all live unto Him;” therefore,
although that body be in the grave and the soul in
Hades, they still hold together and belong to each other.
To you death seems division of soul and body, but to God
there seems no division. If there was, it would not be said,
“all live unto Him.” Some germ and element of the body
lives in real communion with its own spirit in paradise;
therefore they must come together again, there must be a
resurrection.
II. These things being so, let us see some of the con-
sequences. We must not despise our body but reverence
it and use it well, for if we sin with that body that body
is yours for ever and ever. Jesus’ body after death and
resurrection had scars. To God nothing dies; it changes
only, “For all live unto Him.” Respecting the spirit, it
cannot be that after death its existence is torpid and ener-
gies dormant. To realize that if they “live unto Him”
they are in a very ecstasy of being and of joy, should help
us to live an earnest, busy and holy life. The thought
should animate and gladden us. Nearer than we to the
fountain of life, they drink in more of its living waters, and
that makes their glory; but further down the same stream
we are drinking, and that is our grace.
James Vaughan, M.A.