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Michael Jackson & the Resurrection

Will the dead wed?

October 14, 2010

Last week's article, "Will Michael Marry" (October 7, 2010), evoked considerable interest and discussion on the subject of the prospective marital statuses of resurrected ones, and has prompted this additional unplanned article for further consideration.

The Bible indicates that the earthly resurrected dead will indeed wed. Since it appears that Michael Joseph Jackson looked forward to everlasting life on a paradise earth (for instance, he never wrote a song discussing his desire to go to heaven), this may be an indication that his will be an earthly resurrection. Of course, God has the final word. In any event, if Michael is resurrected to eternal life on earth, marriage for him is still an option.   

Sardonic Sadducees: The word "sardonic" means ‘scornfully or cynically mocking.' This is precisely the attitude the Sadducees, who believed only in the Mosaic Law and that people couldn't be resurrected, had toward Jesus. To be sure, there were marriage restrictions in the Torah (or Writings of Moses), and Jesus recognized these.

Forbidden Marriages: Angels were not to marry humans. (Ge 6:1-5; 2 Pe 2:4; Ju 6) Israelites were commanded not to marry pagans. (De 7:1-4) The high priest and underpriests were restricted in who they could marry. (Le 21:7-14; Ez 44:22) And for the Israelites in general, there were other prohibited marriage unions.--Le 18:6-17.

Therefore, in strategically answering the Sadducees' question as to whom of seven brothers--who all married the same woman--would get her as wife in the resurrection, Jesus started with a marital prohibition: Persons resurrected to heaven won't marry. (Matt 22:23-30) However, after making this point, Jesus alluded to a man who had been ‘resurrected,' and had later married.

‘Resurrected' Man Marries?: Within the very Pentateuch (Greek for Torah) that the Sadducees prided themselves in knowing, God tested the faithful patriarch Abraham by asking him to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice, just like a sacrificial animal.

As Abraham was about to kill Isaac--who lay bound on the altar--God sent His angel to stop him. The patriarch had passed the test! Isaac, though, was viewed as good as having been sacrificed, and then was ‘resurrected.' Moreover, he thereafter married and fathered Jacob.--Ge 22:1-14; 24:1-67; Ro 9:7; Heb 11:17-19; Jas 2:21.

Astonishingly, Abraham knew God would've literally resurrected Isaac immediately after Abraham killed him as indicated by what he told the servants traveling with them: "Stay here with the ass, but I and the boy want to go on over there and worship and return to you."--Ge 22:5, New World Translation.

Abraham planned on returning with Isaac alive! Even The Watchtower, November 1, 1968, states: "Abraham clearly expected that if Isaac died God would in time resurrect him so that Isaac would be able to produce the seed promised [through his son Jacob]." (Ge 21:12; 25:22-26; Ro 9:10-12) No wonder Jesus referenced Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when answering the Sadducees!

Yet, the Sadducees didn't connect the dots, prompting Jesus to say: "You neither know the entire Hebrew Scriptures--Moses's Writings included--nor the power of God."--Matt. 22:29, Carr's Christian Bible.

After speaking of a heavenly resurrection--again, where marriages don't occur (Matt 22:30)--Jesus shifts gears in the very next verse where he introduces an entirely different kind of resurrection, saying: "As regards the resurrection of the dead [to life on earth!]." (Matt 22:31) Significantly, he then discusses those who died before him, including the seven brothers and the widow. 

These Seven Not in Heaven: Because the woman and her seven husbands all died before Jesus--should they be resurrected--theirs would be an earthly one. (Jn 3:13; 5:28, 29; Ac 24:15) Jesus also showed that even if they had been resurrected to heaven had they died after him, none of the seven still would get her as wife since whether resurrected to heaven or earth, death dissolves the marriage. (1 Co 7:39; Ro 7:2) No wonder the crowds were so impressed with his answer!--Matt 22:33.     

It should also be noted that when the Sadducees approached him, Jesus had already resurrected a young man (Lu 7:11-18), a little girl (Mr 5:35-43), and his friend Lazarus. (Jn 11:11-14)  There's no Scriptural record where, after they were brought back to life, Jesus commanded them not to marry. To deny those resurrected to earthly life the opportunity for romance, love, sex, and marriage, would be tantamount to punishing them for simply dying. Peace and blessings to all. Amen.