Looking forward with hope

Looking forward with hope

Many novels and movies these days are set in the near future, and they generally have something in common. The future most of us expect is a disaster. Whether that means living through world wars, nuclear disasters, environmental catastrophes, or cruel dictatorial governments, most visions of the future are bad. There are many who have no hope when they look to what is coming.

The Sadduccees in Matthew 22 might not have expected killer robots or global warming, but they also didn’t have much hope for the future. They had a privileged life now, running the priesthood and having the support of the Romans. Yet they did not believe in the resurrection of the dead (v23). They thought that death was the ultimate end. All they had to look forward to was growing old and then being no more.

Yet when they bring a rather unusual question to Jesus that deals with the resurrection, they don’t get the answer they expect. Jesus reprimands them. He tells them that they do not know the Scriptures or the power of God (v29). And Jesus gives them a vision for the eternal future of believers where our relationships will be so close, so much better than now, so that the absence of marriage is not a drawback. The resurrection life will be so much better in every way to today, and that has always been the hope for believers all the way back to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Jesus’ saying about marriage in heaven raises so many questions that we do not know the answer to. What will our relationship with others really be like? Will our relationships on earth have any continuity in heaven or not? We must be content in not knowing everything. There is a mystery to heaven that we will not fully understand until we are there.

Yet we know and trust that our faithful God will give us life after death, a glorious life if we trust in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. Even on the really bad days, we can hold onto this hope. And on the days when things are going really well, we know that what is coming will be so much better still.

I cannot guarantee our future life on earth will be wonderful, but I do know that the eternal future for believers will be amazing. We do indeed have something to look forward to.