27 There came to him some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, 28 and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and died without children. 30 And the second 31 and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. 32 Afterward the woman also died. 33 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife.”
34 And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, 36 for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. 37 But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. 38 Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.” 39 Then some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well.” 40 For they no longer dared to ask him any question.
“But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.” This is an amazing passage. No one reading what Moses said about God in the passage about the bush would find in there a Sedes Doctrinae, that is a proof passage for the resurrection. It doesn’t seem to deal with the resurrection at all. But Jesus shows that indirectly it does affirm the resurrection. It’s an amazing piece.
Here you see a hermeneutic at work that does not require that a passage give a blunt treatment of an issue. Rather it shows that Jesus knew his scripture well, and could draw inferences, and rest with them.
Today, inferences are not allowed. It is strange, but verses that obviously deal with baptism: Titus chapter 3, Ephesians 5:26, 1 Cor. 6, because they don’t explicitly say baptism but merely mention water and the word or a washing that justifies and sanctifies are dismissed. It is as if people are incapable of reading at all! Of course, even when scripture explicitly says baptism saves as in 1 Peter 3, it is dismissed because it doesn’t say what they want it to say. Baptists are worse than the Sadducees in this. Somehow they manage to blend the worst traits of both the Pharisees and the Sadducees in the way they read scripture.
Jesus shows that there is a resurrection because God is a God of the living and not of the dead. It is amazing, but this means that even now Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are living and resurrected. If their living depends on them being resurrected then they are resurrected even now. The cosmology of the Bible is a complicated thing. It is not a simple matter. The concept of eternity, heaven and hell are not, as often depicted, a three layer cake and time going on for eternity. Eternity is much more than time going on forever. It engulfs time. And from eternity God enters time and plays with it in ways we will never understand, but he does it all that we would be saved by Christ’s death and resurrection, because without Christ’s resurrection there is no resurrection. Yes Christ rose as the first fruits of the resurrection, even as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the blest enjoyed their resurrection in heaven.