We lay my 92 year old Grampa to rest tomorrow morning. He was my Gramma’s husband and she died one month ago. He was overheard saying to a nurse about two weeks before his passing that he wanted to die and be with the love of his life, and he couldn’t wait to see heaven. A few weeks later he was granted his wish. They were truly an example of a Godly marriage. Together for 62 years, they raised 4 boys together, pastored several churches hand in hand, and supported and prayed for eighteen grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren. Together they modeled all the fruits of the spirit, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control to anyone who was privileged to have known them. In remembering their final days, I’ve recalled a few times I’ve been asked my opinion on whether or not I believe that we’ll be reunited in Heaven with our spouses. I don’t believe that this will be the case for a few different reasons. First, from a human perspective I would be a bit jealous thinking of my husband being reunited with his first wife in Heaven while I remained here on earth, alone and sad. Secondly, who would be my husband when we all made it there together? Would I have to pick who I wanted to spend eternity with? Current husband or late husband? Would they duke it out for my hand in marriage? Or would neither one of them want me at that point? That would be a serious blow to my self- esteem! Although it’s a romantic thought for some, for others of us, in situations similar to mine, it’s a pretty horrific thought! It seems like that sort of scenario would incur anger, jealousy, and bitterness, not things that I imagine being present in Heaven. Biblically we are told, “And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 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, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. And in Luke 20:34-36 we read, “The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother. So too the second and third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.” But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
The key verse here is when Jesus speaks saying, “You are wrong…For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are LIKE angels in heaven. The verse in Luke also reiterates how those who are resurrected from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore because they are EQUAL to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. Matthew 22:30
A few things stand out to me about these verses. In both verses our resurrected bodies are compared to being LIKE and EQUAL to the angels. In neither verse do we hear that we become angels as so many people would like to believe when their loved one dies. How often do we as a society say something like, “Oh she’s an angel looking over you” or “You’ll always have an angel watching you from Heaven.” These verses clearly state that this is not the case. Our new bodies will resemble something like the angels, and perhaps this was the clearest example Christ could portray for our frail human minds to understand and comprehend. Secondly, I find it interesting that in Luke it states that when a person is resurrected from the dead, they are neither married nor given in marriage anymore, BECAUSE they cannot die anymore. What is it about the fact that because we cannot die anymore that leads to the lack of a need for marriage in Heaven? Christ compared a Biblical marriage as one where the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church. “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” Ephesians 5:25 That is what is portrayed Biblically as the premise for a Godly, loving marriage here on earth, one in which the husband lays down his life for his bride, dies to himself and his own selfish ambitions, sacrifices for her, and loves her, and in return, the wife, like the church of Christ, seeks to honor, respect, love, cherish and obey her spouse out of the love that he pours out upon her, “She does him [husband] good, and not harm, all the days of her life.”Proverbs 31:12. It is this dying to ourselves concept that we see portrayed in this example of marriage. Therefore, if we have been resurrected with Christ in Heaven there is no longer the need for the mediocre earthly example of marriage that we have on earth to portray Christ’s love for the church. For we will be instead living the perfectness of what the true marriage relationship was ultimately meant to showcase; Christ and his bride, together forever in holy matrimony, “Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19:7-9 Marriage is no longer needed because it will be fulfilled completely through Christ and his relationship with the church in Heaven. So my thoughts to those confused on who will be matched up with whom in all of eternity, it really won’t matter. We will be so filled with the love of Christ as our bridegroom and us as the resurrected church, the most beautiful bride, that we will have no need for spousal love; for Christ’s love will fill every aspect of that love that we need and experience here on earth; just as I believe wholeheartedly that both of my grandparents are experiencing right now.
Just keep livin!!