GOD OF THE LIVING
"'Even Moses exclaimed about resurrection at the burning bush, saying, 'God: God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob!' God isn't the God of dead men but of the living. To Him all are alive.'
"Some of the religion scholars said, 'Teacher, that's a great answer!' For a while, anyway, no one dared put questions to Him." Luke 20:37-40 (The Message).
Hidden truths! Did anyone notice that the truth about resurrection is hidden in that short and seemingly insignificant statement - "God of Abraham"?
Every Jewish boy would have known that because his text book from birth was the Torah, the five books of Moses. He would have heard the Shema - "Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one," (Deuteronomy 6:4) - every time he suckled at his mother's breast. By the age of six he would have memorised the book of Leviticus and by twelve, the whole Torah. In the Torah are the seeds of every major doctrine in the Bible, including the truth about the resurrection.
God created time and lives in a realm which is not subject to time. Unlike Him, human beings are not eternal. Our existence begins at a point in time but, from that point, we never cease to exist.
Because of Adam's choice, we are subject to death, but death is not the end. It is the transition from time to eternity, from the realm of the physical to the realm of God where we shed all the imperfections of our fallen humanity and stand before God in the perfection of Jesus which He gave to us because of His death on the cross.
Because Jesus came from that realm, He could speak of as fact, that which we receive by faith, that God is the God of the living because Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are still alive in His presence.
Had the Sadducees paid a little more attention to the Torah, they would not have made fools of themselves by posing a question to Jesus that revealed their ignorance.
In His reply, Jesus shows us how we can find the answer too many of the questions that puzzle us about our faith. There is a principle of Biblical interpretation that will help us, called the Law of First Mention. The first time something is mentioned in the Bible is the key to understanding what it means in the rest of the Bible.
There is an example of this principle that will help us to understand God's original intent about prayer. The first mention of prayer is found in Genesis 4:26: "At that time men began to call on the name of the Lord." In the original Paleo (picture) Hebrew, the word for "call" meant "to turn the head to face the One who can bear the burden."
That's it! We have made prayer into something quite complicated whereas the Bible presents prayer as the simple act of changing our awareness! When Adam and Eve chose to ignore God's command, they lost their God-awareness and became self-aware, (“'...I was afraid because I was naked, and so I hid.' And He said, 'Who told you that you were naked?'" - Genesis 3:10b-11a), a preoccupation that has never changed.
To change our awareness means to recognise and acknowledge God in the centre of whatever our concern is. We don't have to bring God into our situations - He's already there! When we change our awareness, we move from worry and panic to peace because He is there, He is good and He is in charge.
Jesus was saying, in essence, 'Go back to the beginning where God has revealed His original intent. That's where you'll find His answers to your questions.'
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