In My Flesh I Shall See God

2019-11-10 – Year C – Proper 27 – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas

Job 19:23-27a; Psalm 17; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5; Luke 20:27-38

Resurrection Transcends Suffering

  • Job – This passage is a prophetic hint at the coming of Jesus.
  • Job has been suffering beyond imagination. His friends come and try to comfort him, but instead, they try to convince him that he must have sinned to deserve this.
  • Job maintains his innocence and he rails against both his friends and God.
  • After going back and forth for many chapters, Job reaches this moment of clarity.
  • Job 19:25-27
    • Job realizes that he may not get answers in this life. He may not have an opportunity to argue his case before God. But he knows that his redeemer, his advocate, lives and that this redeemer will stand before God on his behalf, and that one day he will see God.
  • Whatever our present circumstances may be, we know that our Redeemer lives and that one day, we too shall see God face to face.
    • The sufferings of this present time will melt away. Resurrection transcends suffering.

Resurrection Transcends Joy

  • Luke 20:27-40
    • The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection. They were trying to catch Jesus with an intellectual problem.
    • Levirate Marriage – Deuteronomy 25:5.
    • Seven brothers, each one dies childless and the woman in this story becomes the wife of each one.
      • Whose husband will she be in the resurrection? Luke 20:33.
    • Jesus surprises them with an answer no one was expecting. He essentially tells them that they are asking the wrong question. There won’t be marriage in heaven.
      • I remember being engaged, looking forward to being married, and feeling very forlorn as I heard this read in the chapel at seminary!
      • Remember, our wedding vows are “till we are parted by death”
  • Resurrection doesn’t just transcend suffering, it also transcends the greatest joys.
    • The things we have now, in this life, are mere shadows of the things to come.
    • Imagine that you have a guidebook to the Grand Canyon that you treasure.
      • You love looking at the pictures and reading the descriptions.
      • You love wondering about what it would be like to be there.
      • But then you hesitate when you have the opportunity to go because you are afraid it might not measure up to your expectations.
    • Marriage is a wonderful and beautiful thing, full of struggles, but also great joys.
      • Marriage, however, points to the greater reality of the love of Christ for his Church. When that marriage is consummated, there will be no need for the sign any longer.
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:14 – Obtain the glory of Christ

What not Just Go and be with the Lord?

  • “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a report that is the closest thing we have to the quantification of despair. Between 1999 and 2017, suicide rates in the United States rose to their highest level since World War II. The increase can be found among women and men, and in every racial and ethnic group. But the spike among people between the ages of 15 and 34 is particularly disturbing.”
    • The rate of suicide among veterans is even higher.
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:15 – Stand firm. This is our response to the knowledge of the resurrection.
    • “148. How should you live in light of this promise of unending life? I should live in joyful expectation of the fullness of my transformation, soul and body, into the likeness of Christ, as a part of the renewal of the whole creation. In the midst of life’s difficulty and suffering, and in the face of hostility and persecution for my faith, I am sustained by this hope and the knowledge of our triune God’s eternal love for me.”
    • We are to remain faithful until the Lord calls us to himself. It is his decision.
  • There is meaning in our suffering.
    • When we suffer and continue to trust God, it gives us an opportunity to rely on God for the strength to make it through.
    • It gives us an opportunity to identify with the suffering of Christ himself.
  • There is work yet to do. There are people who rely on you, but even more important than that, you are the image of God in this world.
    • There are people whom God has uniquely positioned you to reach, both by your words and examples.
    • There are people who may not make it safely home to God without your influence in their lives.
  • Remember, “he is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (luke 20:38). He wants us to live for him now, and we all look forward to seeing God, in our flesh, face to face.

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