Heaven is for Real
Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” -Matthew 22:29-32
This week in eighth grade LSA religion class, we have been talking about the reality of heaven and the way Jesus described it to the religious leaders. If you look through the different sections in Matthew chapter 22, Jesus is talking with the Pharisees and Sadducees who are trying to trap Christ in His words. They want to know if it’s right to pay taxes; Jesus tells them to give to Caesar what it Caesar’s, and give to the God who owns it all. They want to know what spouse will belong to who if there’s been death and remarriage; Jesus says they’re missing the point. In heaven there is but one marriage, God and His Church. We will continue to know those we love, yet our relationships on earth will only be a fraction of the kind of intimacy we’ll experience when we are united with God for all time.
Jesus had a way with calling the religious leaders beyond their narrow, loaded questions in an attempt to wake them up to the greater picture. Jesus never fell prey to saying the wrong thing or placing Himself on one side of the issue. His answers were always bigger than their questions.
Sometimes I think we struggle to remember just how big our God really is. We too have burning questions for God. When will the answer to my prayer come? How long do I have to wait until the healing takes place? How in the world will You, God, take care of me and my finances? Perhaps we’re not dead set on trying to trap Jesus, like the Pharisees. But like them, we receive an answer that’s bigger than the questions we have.
The truth is that God has given us more than we ever deserved or can ever imagine, through His Son’s death and resurrection. When it comes to the life we will one day experience in Paradise, C.S. Lewis wrote this:
“Think of yourself just as a seed patiently waiting in the earth: waiting to come up a flower in the Gardener’s good time, up into the real world, the real waking. I suppose that our whole present life, looked back on from [heaven], will seem only a drowsy half-waking. We are here in the land of dreams. But the rooster’s crow is coming.”
I don’t know exactly what heaven will look like, feel like, smell or taste like, but I do know this; it will be such an experience that this former life on earth will be but a shadow, an illusion compared to the power and grandeur that comes with complete unity and intimacy with God. My eighth graders and I have had fun dreaming of what that time will be like, and I hope you too anticipate this goal we press on towards. Until then, let’s keep speaking those first words in the Common Table prayer, come, Lord Jesus, as we wait for the last day and final hour- where at the sound of the last trumpet, the Church will finally wake up to a life beyond our wildest dreams.
I live for this day. Where all our questions fade away, because they’ll be swallowed up in the wholeness and greatness of the presence of our living God. A day when the answer will allow no more room for questions at all. The day that St. Paul was waiting for when he told the Corinthian church, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
We are a people who are blessed to say and believe – because of Jesus Christ, life has just begun. And I am blessed to enjoy this eternal journey with you. -Pastor Doug