Dark Brightness

Bleak Theology: Hopeful Science

The resurrection includes a body.

Chapel, Wakari Hospital

This morning I am limping. Combination of tabata at the gym last night and a run this am — less stiff after the run, but still sore. The body aches and groans. It feels unfair — as we get older, exercise hurts — as Cohen says, we ache in the places we used to play.

But if we do not move, we rust.  Mortality appears unfair: we look to eternity, knowing that this time will end. .  Despite our society functioning like Sadducees, and denying there is anymore.

Luke 20:27-40

27Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him 28and asked him a question, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. 29Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; 30then the second 31and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. 32Finally the woman also died. 33In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her.”

34Jesus said to them, “Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; 35but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. 37And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.” 39Then some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well.” 40For they no longer dared to ask him another question.

Now the Sadducees are discussion the Levirate law: women were to be supported within marriage. It was a duty, not necessarily a pleasure: one can imagine how  your wife would react if your brother died and there was another woman sharing your bed. It was designed to preserve inheritances — and it was followed, as Ruth and Boaz demonstrated.

But Jesus says look beyond this. Our bodies will not remain like this. We will again heal, We will be whole:  the glimpses of eternity we see in the beauty of the young and in the comfort of our spouses will become reality. We will not be behnd the veil. And we will not be espoused spiritually, we will be of the family of Christ.

In that time to come, there is no marriage. In this life, there is: it may not be compulsory, but most of us burn. Most of us cannot give that up, without a huge struggle.

As  Cohen wrote:

Roshi, I cannot help you now because I met this woman.

Please forgive my selfishness

I send you birthday greetings, deep affection and respect.

However, the resurrection of the body does matter. We are not going to have our consciousness etched on silicon and be plugged into some cyberian experience (or Matrix).

So what we do with this body matters. Sexually,, (after all, the question was about marriage), but our diet, our exercise, and the acts of our hands. For there is a life to come, and we pray Christ will account us worthy to participate in that age to come.